Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TUESDAY POEM | Albatross by Penelope Todd







                                 LEARNING FROM THE BIRDS

                          Albatross


                                This parent does not fuss:
                                six days at sea;
                                six minutes now suffice

                                to deliver her burden
                                to the child that waddles over,
                                claps and daddles beak at beak 
                                   
                                up comes the mess of squid
                                scooped from the black
                                a thousand miles off.

                                New-fledged, the young must jettison
                                the undigested stuff of infancy:
                                bones and fins, the beaks of octopi.

                                How wings grow slick
                                and open for that years-long
                                maiden flight no parent can impart

                                nor how to wrest eight writhing limbs
                                from the open sea at night.

                          Penelope Todd 
                                    



I was happy to be in the audience a couple of Wednesdays ago when Penelope read her poem Albatross. Vegan cafe Circadian Rhythm hosts a monthly poetry gathering here in Dunedin and we were there to listen and read. I barely gave Penelope time to sit down after her turn at the mic before asking if I could please post her poem here - and soon? Thank you, Pen. 



Wee 'Albatross Aside'. . . 

In Dunedin, when the first adult Royal Albatross returns to land after spending many months at sea - and, too, when the first albatross chick hatches - the city's cathedrals bells ring out in celebration.    



*





This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub is Helen McKinlay
with Lines for a New Year 
by iconic NZ poet Sam Hunt.


Sam generously offered up a second - unpublished - poem for readers, titled Tell Me What 

                                  "Tell me what I don't know -
                                   not what I know now

                                   or what I'll know tomorrow. . . "



The end of the year is fast approaching. . . There will be one more Tuesday Poem posted on the hub next week, after which we will all take a break, re-congregating towards the end of January 2013. (2013! Pinch me?) xo








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