Catherine Rockwood

Issue Two


Non-stop northern light. Men moved in it

like gurry sharks biting two days past death.

We needed to fill our hold

so we caught, cut, and barrelled.

The usual process was gone through

again, again.

Only fog slowed us.

Sometimes then we slept,

leaving boats suspended, cables coiled

heavy at the foot of the harpoon.

What hour was it? 

Under low cloud,

the sea dissolved its stains. 

Meanwhile, we dreamed.

We heard the blast of whales

but could not see them. [1] 

[1] Lines in italics are quoted from James Douglas, “Surgeon of a Whaler,” chapter 2 in Douglas, Journals and Reminiscences, privately printed in New York in 1910.

About Catherine Rockwood
Catherine Rockwood is a poet and independent scholar from Massachusetts. You can find her poems in Thrush Poetry Journal, Contrary Magazine, Reckoning Magazine, and elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook, Endeavors to Obtain Perpetual Motion, is forthcoming from the Ethel Zine Press in spring 2022.