The Belly of a Whale – Shannon Beasley

The Belly of a Whale

By Shannon Beasley


We saw our dreams drifting out to sea,

We tried to catch them but our rows were out of synch.

I felt a little useless and mean,

But hey, they’re just dreams.


I watched my hope die,

As it followed the waves.

It didn’t look ahead,

It just crashed against the rocks,

Or sunk in the sand.


And now we’re stuck on a row boat,

Far enough in the surf to make the people look like ants.

And we’re fighting like we’re sharks instead of friends,

I wonder whether the sinking we’re doing will drown out our will to float.

Or capsize our silly little row boat.


The skies dulled from a bright, to a brighter still.

Then trembled faster into darkness that left me ill.

The salt smell from the water spraying up gave a chill,

That sat in the bottom of my heart like a cheap thrill.


It was silent, it was loud-

Loud from the waves being moved by the moon,

Silent if you think about the billions of little living things undertow.

A daddy looking Nemo under our boat.


Then a rumble sounded in the ground,

Something thumping its way in the waves.

Like it was pat-patting against sound.

It looks like our silly little boats been found.


I closed my eyes,

Before I dared to look around.

Moments passed, no one screamed, and no one died.

So I dropped my hands to my rows,

And chose to open my eyes wide.


And low and behold.

There was no need to hold.

We were stuck at half-empty, half-full.

In the belly of a whale.

In the belly of a whale.


I looked to Dorry and I said, “We’re not getting out of this one.”

Jonah laughed and he said, “Just look how far we’ve come-

God knows, we’re not done.

In the belly of a whale.

In the belly of a whale.”


You’d think they’d been here before,

They seem to know more-

From the krill to the song they all sing.

It must be a beautiful melody.

If they all sing.


Can you hear it?

From the belly of a whale.

Or does it shake in our hearts and in our heads?

From the belly of a whale.


I guess I can make new dreams,

After all, I’ll sleep again.

And I guess hope is an endless thing.

It dies again and again, but rings itself back in.

So it’s not so cold-

In the belly of a whale.


We’ll all still fail.

Falter and bail.

But we’ll just go back.

Get lost on the waves,

Or go some kind of crazed.

But we’ll turn back.

To the belly of the whale.


The movement stopped,

The mouth opened up.

And there we were spat out to shore.

Back on land.

From the belly of a whale.


The end of a plight,

Our delightful tale,

About an almost sunken sail.

Spat out of the belly of a whale