Marine Biology II

By Rob Carney

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Old Roads, New Stories: A Literary Series


for J2, “Granny,”
the oldest member of the Puget Sound orcas
1911 to 2016

Because all orcas have a way with words,
decoding their 10,000 whistles is a lot of fun.

We sail out with microphones,
plunk them in the water,

then listen as they badmouth dolphins,
complain about squid—their “cheater’s camouflage”

and “that candy-ass getaway inksquirt maneuver.”
“No respect for the food chain,” they click,

and move on,
gone beyond our audio range….

Their word for bikini is “seaweed,” for fishing boat
it’s “wants-too-many,”

but their name for themselves
is impossible to translate . . .

something like “More than Wild Appetite,”
or “It Takes More than Salmon to Be Full.”




Rob CarneyRob Carney’s fourth book, 88 Maps, was published by Lost Horse Press (distribution by University of Washington Press). Previous books and chapbooks include Story Problems and Weather Report, both from Somondoco Press.
Read poetry by Rob Carney appearing in 6th Annual Contest Finalist, 4th Annual Contest Winner, and Issue 30. And listen to a new radio interview with Rob Carney, and here’s an older radio interview.

Photo of orca by MrsBrown, courtesy Pixabay. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.