Sunday, 26 November 2017

Invocation to Iona

Dear Reader,

                                                                                          Beluga Whales



A Beluga whale living in captivity with a pod of bottle nose dolphins has learned their language of whistles and clicks. The four-year-old whale was moved to live with dolphins in the Koktebel dolphinarium in Crimea in 2013 but, to begin with, found it difficult to communicate with her tank mates.  However, within just a few months she had begun to copy their whistles in clicks.  Scientists think it could be the first example of an animal changing its vocalisations in an attempt to "talk' to another species.  Dolphins have signature whistles, like names, which they use to call to each other.  After just a few months the beluga had stopped using its own calls and switched to dolphin signatures.  Beluga whales are highly intelligent and have been known to imitate people, other animals and other sounds.   This beluga whale has given up speaking "beluga" to fit in with her new friends the dolphins.
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Invocation to Iona

"Iona, sacred island, mother,
I honour you,
who cradle the
bones of Scottish Kings,
who birthed coloured gemstones
to enchant bleached beaches,
who shelter puffins on your rocks.

I wrap myself in your history,
and knot the garment with
machair rope-grass.
In the Port of Coracle
your southern bay,
I hear the wind-blown cormorant's cry,
and draw a breath.
I see Columba's footsteps
in the sand, and weep.
Tears overflow,
I am spirit-engulfed.

I ask you, Iona,
is this then, or now,
what is, or what has been?
Does the rolling salt sea-mist
cover the uncounted time between?"

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With best wishes, Patricia

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very beautiful and enchanting poem which conjures up the spirit of Iona superbly.

Anonymous said...

I love the Beluga whale story. We all know animals are sentient beings - it's a shame our government does not.
Iona is one of your most beautiful poems proving yet again what a special human being you are! XX