Fairy Penguins

1 May 2014

at the corner of the coast we leave behind
a crossroad of island & mainland
walk the jetty with tea & sandwiches
settling on a narrow shore

a stray sentence begins & ends in the
margins of rock & sand,
grouped pine trees hug the foreland,
tufts of grass filter down on limestone

Penguin Island is Joie de Vivre,
bottled-nose dolphins, sea lions, the informed
reveal of penguins as seabirds who cannot fly,
who shy away like full stops from poems

children demand their attention, a noisy
thrumming persistence — we walk
facing the sun with office workers, musicians
the star attraction, pairs huddled into trellises of rock

rangers answer questions with torchlit marks
fish? mammal? the forces of people
in an open cage? such forces chatting on mobile phones
the hubbub of sinewy language in a factory thrum
— people — finding at last a pair nested in close
a narrow window compressed into rock – so alone!

the beginning is an end to their search
shadows tilt on tiny faces, the cave an arbitrary height
forces dark silhouettes further in — two creatures
inviting clear reasoning for tourists, to walk back along the shore
to a swell of waves on the western side, beach & tarp,
a swim & the mind’s industry churning thoughts of
we’ll catch a wave before lunch

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