Te-Ara-a-Parāoa, Path of the Sperm Whale

Aotearoa's white peaks spyhop above waves,
seeking albatross worlds of mislaid moons.
Screeching kākā skim fast through tree-tops.
Parāoa breaches in a frost-smoke chrysalis.
Iwi on the shore perform haka of welcome.
Drizzle dances on the head of the whale.
Hoisted up out of water, blowing a guffaw,
blunt headlands slap and wallow in their turn.
A living wall slides past, gentle-eyed, vast.
Luminous planktons glow in dark ocean;
neon flying squid flash through salty air.
Silvery-bubbled, ripple-driven, Parāoa
tilts her tail-flukes, keels and plunges:
guiding her calf down Kaikōura Canyon.
Bob of a fur seal pup snouts through
seaweed wrack, in the surf's long swell.
A breeze licks over spun gobbets of foam.
A green tendril climbs sunwards in a spiral

— David Eggleton

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