Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.

Valerie Bacharach


Allseitige Hochspannung by Lubo Kristek

A humpback whale surfaces against the horizon,
massive body glistening in sun.
My husband and I on a boat in Alaska’s Inside Passage,
the sky boundless as a benediction.
We gasp, applaud the whale as one fin slaps
inky water and a calf pops up, circles its mother.
Grace note.

The air is cold even though it is July.
My eyes try to capture these creatures, imprint
their fierce beauty,
remember this moment when I am home
and the weather turns dark,
when clouds storm across leaden skies,
their color the dove grey of those whales,
as the horizon recedes,
my eyes unable to sight the line between sky and earth.


About the writer:
Valerie Bacharach’s writing has appeared or will appear in: Vox Viola, Vox Populi, Whale Road Review, The Blue Mountain Review, EcoTheo Review, Poetica, Kosmos Quarterly, and Amethyst Review. Her chapbook Ghost-Mother was published by Finishing Line Press in July 2021.

Image: Allseitige Hochspannung by Lubo Kristek (1943-). Oil on canvas. 98 x 140 cm. 1975-76. By free license.


Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.