London Poetry: The Whale That Lost Its Way By William Stopha

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 88 months ago
London Poetry: The Whale That Lost Its Way By William Stopha

Poems about our capital

William Stopha is a poet, beat-smith and multimedia performer. He has been writing and performing for eight years all over London and the UK, including at The Poet's Lounge, The Etcetera Theatre, Farrago Poetry, Writer's block, The Roundhouse, The Poetry Cafe, The Albany Theatre and The Soho Theatre. He's taken two shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and also produced shows for the Camden Fringe, Synergy at London Bridge and The Big Dress festival, as well as performing with Apples and Snakes, the London Poetry System and winning a Farrago Poetry Slam. He is trying to get something off the ground called The Really HUGE Poetry Project which is an attempt at a huge collaborative poem that you and anyone else can contribute to.

The Whale that Lost its Way

The whale lost its way
Heading for the North Atlantic Sea,
They say he just forgot to check the map,
Took the wrong exit and he couldn't get back!
He Found himself stuck on a one way route,
The British Isles like a great roundabout and he was stuck on the loop,
The ring road, extra large vehicle
with a heavy goods load.

Poor fella,
Got redirected to the city centre,
On an accidental sight seeing adventure.

But who sent ya? Eh?
With Jonah in your belly and something to say
Like - 'Listen London, there's another way!'

I didn't want you to die.
I prayed that the tide might come high,
The Thames rise,
Spill over its sides;
A clean up, city wide.
And we'd realise as ships capsize
And oil spills!
Quick, head for the hills!
Take the high ground.

Is that what you came to say?
Because we're the Nineveh of today.
And I'm sorry you died that way,
Dried out on the boat's deck
Buckets of water poured over
You lying there saying - 'wait, I came to show ya.'

And now there's another, even larger
Sicked up on the mud in Yorkshire
So we're doing research to find out what brought ya,
You and your friend, to be beached on our border.
And when we looked, what we saw,
Were twenty and more
All in our channel around our shore.
They're all off course, lost in our seas
Surely they can't all have taken the wrong turn?
Please!
Someone go up there with a no entry sign
Maybe they'll learn.
If you come this way, then you won't return!

But then maybe that was the point?
Maybe that's what you came to say,
'Guys, I didn't go the wrong way.
I didn't fumble and stumble into waters that are toxic,
I did it on purpose to show you that you've lost it.
I did it to quicken and awaken concern,

Maybe it's you that took the wrong turn.'

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Last Updated 09 December 2010