The Cove and Dolphins

You know, if I were a dolphin, I might tell you the troubled story like this,


In waters we live the lie, die
in parkland still, men with their knives
lurking in coves, bare mind contrives

wonted route, obstacles defy
loud cry in trance, artful sound dance
treacherous motives, you imply

effete cetacean archives
stacking, as we live the lie, die.

Until dawn, might live the lie, die
or with valet who arrives
turn props, captivity derives

deception of smile, doesn’t comply
the ail, strain, intellect in drain,
hoarding wealth, slaughter, don’t deny

water bloody red, spiking knives,
in waters, seeping the lie, die.



It is rather obscure to say that I am glad I happened to see “The Cove“, since the tragedy that it commemorates is slaughter of 23,000 dolphins in a year. The place I’m referring to is Taiji in Japan where at secretive, prohibited coves, mass murder of wonderful, intelligent beings is at unprecedented levels. The dolphin’s sensitivity to sound is exploited, by encircling groups with sound created by tapping poles, also referred to as wall of sound in film  and guiding them to the cove. The town is the largest supplier of dolphins to marine parks and “swim with dolphin” programs around the globe, and I could understand if they were to do just that i.e., export caught dolphins to such programs (not that I love the idea), but why slaughter?


The fact that Japanese people eat whales and not dolphins (as far as I know), and since, they are not liable to change their culture and traditional eating habits, is no excuse for killing such large number of dolphins. Japan has been practicing self-censorship on the story, hence the outlook of the world to that of people in Japan would differ, and also the hunt of dolphins, not publicized in Japan has left most of the people clueless on the matter. The Cove documentary, has raised all sorts of debates, some of them being, why prefer one being over another, for instance dolphins over cows or buffalo, just because they are more intelligent, give pigs a try! Also, Taiji has been categorized as a Slaughter house and nobody likes slaughter house, if you were to see the tragedy of chickens or the slaughter of cows which happens behind the walls, you might back out (to them, atleast make Taiji public first!).

Dolphin Slaughter

I am not joking here, and I do take the issue seriously. The fact that about 95% of dolphin deaths are attributed to humans is a cause of concern, because we are intelligent beings and its our responsibility. If we are to shrug off, then may be there is no point building national parks on land, water or anywhere, for Lions, Tigers, Dolphins, Whales and no one. It would be foolish to give some people enough power to change the course of other species, because, hey someone might say ‘kill the dolphins, who needs them, they are no use, we cannot eat them and on top of that they eat all smaller fishes we eat’. So, did you see, such conducive thinking is a remedy to the disaster the world is trying to avert. I am not telling to be selfless and let live others and not think about our own being, because all we do is think about ourselves, but I do agree that “Every entity in nature has some intrinsic value”, and unexampled experimentation with nature might not earn gold, its a risk, calculated or not is a mystery.

As for “The Cove”, the documentary did try to rationalize the political regime extensively and lost touch from the ecological value. But, I guess it was important, they were onto something. The shot for me, that really got me, was film captured by underwater cameras sighting “water turning red”. I don’t know, if the film has had any effect but it seems none or limited, I never came across any news on this subject, or may be I was dormant, but hey, if you find time “watch and get curious!”


23 thoughts on “The Cove and Dolphins

  1. Pingback: The Cove and Dolphins | ?????? ?? ?????

  2. great theme, I like that you are making an important statement and I’m with you 110% on this one. The form you have done well with, but for some lines not counting eight syllables – for instance, line 2 has 7, line 3 has only six, line 4 has nine. If you go to the One Stop Poetry Octain post I point out two excellent free online resources that clearly show how many syllables each word has (with audio spoken examples). I would advise against using online ‘syllable-counters’ that haiku etc writers sometimes use, these are often wrong. The Free Dictionary will give you both US and Brit (they cvery sometimes and as poets we can choose), only US but it’s made clearer because they separate the syllables with a dot. I use both.

    Fine lines though, content is good here, well done my friend.


    • Thanks Luke,
      I was having some doubts with syllables, – a big help, thanks for telling.
      Yeah, line 3 was a tragedy, I had counted vowel ‘e’ for both cove and contrives, turns out each has 1 syllable less than what I thought, so ended up from 8 to 6.


  3. Could not even bring myself to watch the film…I can not imagine! Thought the write was telling, and near moved me to tears…so you can imagine me trying to make it through with live images! Couldn’t do it… Great write that was much appreciated by this reader (blushing while hiding tissue box!)


    • It sure is a tragic plight but it seems help is underway. Tears, they indeed show sentimental side of yours which is humane; doesn’t matter if you can’t watch the movie.


  4. The Japanese do eat dolphins. That’s why the hunt exists. The film has also had a large impact both inside and outside of Japan, politically and culturally.

    Welcome to 10thDoM.


    • That’s good to know, I recently came across articles where people were concerned about safety of cove team in Taiji amidst tsunami, well it seems all is good, and a significant decrease in dolphin killing has been witnessed, thanks to the support of citizens and animal rights activists. So, it seems Cove has had an impact.
      Thanks for shedding light on the matter!


  5. god, even that pic of the blood filled water is heart breaking…this was a nice change of pace from the other entries for 10DOM…i like the verse and you played well on form….


  6. It’s a travesty alright. There was an Australian involved in one of the protests. I believe they’re scaling it back at least from the public eye. We should flog ’em more kangaroo I think. Plenty of those and they taste good. Welcome to 10thDom, interesting combo of non fiction and poetry.


  7. “I am not telling to be selfless and let live others and not think about our own being, because all we do is think about ourselves, but I do agree that “Every entity in nature has some intrinsic value”, and unexampled experimentation with nature might not earn gold, its a risk, calculated or not is a mystery.”

    Everyone is selfish in some ways. But your point is well taken.


  8. Occasionally we will see dolphins off shore here in the Gulf along NW Florida. I cannot imagine one of those majestic creatures dying in such a tragic way. The poem at the end is very gripping.


  9. Pingback: The Rising From “The Cove” « Champions for Cetaceans

  10. Pingback: Sharon Osbourne, @MrsSOsbourne Pls Don’t Swim with #Dolphins! #TheCove «

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