from BARDO

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.

Roselle Angwin

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Lost Species poem 24: Graham Burchell

On an Island at Night Waiting for Fairies

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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