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Jan FitzGerald

albatross return

Toroa, master aviator,
welcome sight to any solitary seafarer,
what danger you encounter
skimming the ocean for squid
among tiger sharks and orca.

Celestial glider and rider of storms,
sleep-flying night’s thermals
over vast seas, distant countries,
how you tilt the wind
with your tail feathers,
stretch the sky with your shadow!

Illustration by Jan Fitzgerald

It’s hard to imagine
as you shake out great wings
and nestle into the cliff face,
pointing a pastel pink bill
into the wind,
that you can circum-navigate the globe
without landing.

Hoki mai. Hoki mai.
Welcome home.

1 Comment

  • J L Heller

    August 24, 2019 at 7:39 am Reply

    A very majestic sounding poem for a majestic bird. I love: ‘how you tilt the wind/ with your tail feathers,/ stretch the sky with your shadow!”

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