Beneath The Whale – In memory of Daniel

Daniel Bloomfield
My father and I with a catch of Florida lobster in the Keys.

Sadly, my father, Daniel Bloomfield passed away on September 3, 2015 at the young age of 57.

I wrote this poem a few days after my father died. I was in the marine life wing of the Natural History Museum in New York City, looking up at the gigantic blue whale and recalling all the wonderful times that he and I shared on the ocean. That’s when the reality of his death truly hit me.

Beneath The Whale

let me sink to the bottom of the sea
and stare at the underside of waves

silent blue

where I can see the wind
but neither hear
nor feel it

salty solemnity
haunt me please

dissolve my anger

let me rest on a cushion of silt
as I remember that you taught me
how to fish

and dispersed Room Noodles
from your fingers
to ward off the nameless things
that lurked in the dark

and made me say
boy oh boy
am I enthusiastic
every morning before my socks
were wet with dew

I can catch a lobster

dock a boat

and tie several knots

I owe you that

I am 10 years old
I swim down
down to the sea floor

you take my hand
and squeeze it
squeeze it like you’re
trying to kill a small animal

you give me your regulator
and I breathe your air

we are weightless

you are calm and peaceful
when your air runs out
on the bottom of the sea
or propped up in bed
with the TV remote in your hand


dancing on docks

the clink of your spoon on
the ice cream bowl

your Miami Dolphins voodoo
that never worked

we all knew there
was nothing more
for you here

so ascend now