The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.
Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made
is star-stuff too?
– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –
dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.
Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.
Saturday, 25 February 2017
Wary in daylight they’re at sea
what’s left of them twenty six this year
a few remember fifteen hundred more
coming ashore on this their Granite Island
before the long causeway was built
to give a way for cats for pet diseases
and white light hurts them too too bright
for salty little eyes so it’s a red torch beam
a red oval that looks for a muted Tinkerbell
while pressed against railings sheltered
from ocean bluster you don’t believe in fairies
until one is there nailed and your breath is stilled
wings twitch for balance it falters
walks with a pirate’s gait sea legs on land
first fairy tiniest of penguin kind
© Graham Burchell
(According to yearly surveys, the colony of Fairy Penguins on Granite Island, Victor Harbor, South Australia, has crashed from 1548 in 2001 to just 26 in 2015).
Graham Burchell is the author of four collections: Vermeer's Corner, The Chongololo Club, Kate, and Cottage Pi . He lives in South Devon, and is very active both with Moor Poets and the Teignmouth Poetry Festival.
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