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Sailing in Alaska -- poetry by Leela Sriram

And I saw a whale,

Eggshell white shined with

Petroleum. I wondered if the

Blubber on hus bulging head

Acted as a window, where he could

See me. His blowhole, his third eye.

A belugas sixth sense, his fins graze

Frosting the water. Crystallizing the pacific.

Blubber is like a turtleneck sweater

Knitted knots pulse through blue

Beluga veins.

And the whale’s eyes turned

into crescents. Little moon charms

Dangling on ball chains like souvenir necklaces

Bought at gift shops for a dollar ninety five

Reading Anchorage with a picture of

A glassy white beluga whale. A fin

On the “a” his head on the “e.”

If belugas had tourist destinations

They would sell dog tag necklaces

With stock photo people holding

Block letter words reading “Great Barrier Reef.”

His eggshell and ivory glass tail swished.

Frosts of thin blue. Water bubbles from

Beneath the sea, he dove gracefully

Like a ballerina in the Nutcracker.

Creating ferocious wind tunnels beneath

Miles of ocean. Sparkling under

Frozen algae. His bugging beluga brain

Hidden behind thick ripples and layers

Of ocean fog.


Leela Sriram is a writer from San Francisco. She is a Junior at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. Her favorite authors are Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. Leela loves going to flea and farmers markets and taking long walks in the morning. Her favorite weather is overcast weather, she loves the rain and pine trees. She was published in SandPiper Mag. She longs to someday move to the East Coast and work and run her own literary magazine. She would also love to someday publish a collection of fables and poetry about Golden Gate Park.

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