Animal Poem

Poem About Penguins

Having watched a documentary on these beautiful animals' endeavor to survive, I felt moved to try and capture in words their experience.

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March Of The Penguins


Published: June 2014

The Emperor penguins march, slip and slide and march.
Males and females, side by side, follow their instinct
To a meeting ground - a mating ground- then stop.
Males preen, while the females, outnumbering the males,
Fight for a mate - fight for their mothering need.

Secure, for a while, in their penguin love,
one pair stands motionless on the ice
As if posing in a black and white still
under a cloudless blue heaven.

With gentle feet, the females slowly pass the fragile eggs
To their mates, in an age old ritual, learned but not rehearsed.
An egg rolls away, its warmth cracking fatally on freezing ice.
The living parcels, passed by skilful pairs may yet survive what is to come,
In Nature's harshest landscape on earth.

The mothers, exhausted, but their part unfinished, force themselves to leave
To revive, replenish and return within four long months.
Meanwhile, the males' heads bowed and backs to the howling storms,
With their young enfolded beneath them,
Huddle like stubborn skittles,
Resisting all that nature throws at them.

Hatching and starving one chick feeds off milky fat
Retched from the throat of an already starving father.
Death is inevitable if the mother does not return
And already the grey feathers of the early born
Blow like dead ashes scattered across the frozen ice.

But suddenly, in deafening volume, the females arrive!
They stop and listen to recognize the unique cries of their chicks.
Feeding begins, and afterwards a family of three can be seen
Standing together -
Away from the crowd -
A living monument to survival and commitment
In Nature's harshest landscape on earth.



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