Shoal of Sharks

Richard O'Connell

 
"Oh, look at all the porpoise!" someone shouted
While passengers ran to snap their cameras;
But what they leaned toward was a shoal of sharks
Before us, moving like a floating island:
A seething multitude of tails and fins
Fleeing the fury of a hurricane
Hundreds of miles away. They splashed and swarmed.
Slashing the sea to threads of hissing foam
Beneath us, tossing bellies to the sun.
Staring into the blood pits of our eyes
Ferocious for the flesh and stench of us.
Lucky for us high on our high-tech ark
Looking back on life's primeval broth
At such perpetual and perfect kin.
 
First published in National Review. Copyright © 2001 by Richard O'Connell. Used by permission of the author.

Further Reading

Poems about Sharks
Angel Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Ants and Sharks
by Tomasz Rózycki
Ashore
by Ernest Hilbert
At Shark Reef Sanctuary
by Eva Alice Counsell
Beach Walk
by Henri Cole
Coffee and Oranges
by Joel Brouwer
Flying Fish: An Ode [excerpt]
by Charles Wharton Stork
Haunted Seas
by Cale Young Rice
I Wonder What It Feels Like to be Drowned?
by Robert Graves
In a Breath
by Carl Sandburg
Inheritance of Waterfalls and Sharks
by Martín Espada
Murray Dreaming
by Stephen Edgar
No Place Like Home
by Stephen Cushman
Ode on Dictionaries
by Barbara Hamby
Plague of Dead Sharks
by Alan Dugan
Rome
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Seal Lullaby
by Rudyard Kipling
Sharks in the Rivers
by Ada Limón
Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan
Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]
by Herman Melville
Submarine Mountains
by Cale Young Rice
Summer [excerpt]
by James Thomson
The Bluefish
by Isaac McLellan
The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville
The Ripple Effect
by Jamey Dunham
The Sea is History
by Derek Walcott
The Shark
by Lord Alfred Douglas
The Shark
by Judith Beveridge
The Shark
by Isaac McLellan
The Shark
by William Henry Venable
The Shark's Parlor
by James Dickey
The Sharks
by Denise Levertov
The Sirens
by James Russell Lowell
The Steel Rippers
by Patricia Carlin
Tiger Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Untitled [There, by the crescent moon, the shark]
by Shido
Upon Shark
by Robert Herrick
What To Do About Sharks
by Vivian Shipley
White Sales
by Allen Grossman
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman