Australasian Little Penguins

Europeans settle rugged land,
in truth, unsettled. Balance disturbed.
Predators introduced to cure a plight
became the plight.
Land and species suffered
well-meaning mistakes.

One man saw and understood,
wed himself to land and a special mate.
Rejuvenated forest. Fought for,
and won, two marine sanctuaries.
Nesting birds depleted,
retreated to his cove.

Aptly named, Helps worked.
Natural burrows plundered,
extinction threatened,
he transformed bits of wood and rock
into havens above the ground.
Feathered flipper friends prospered.

Mrs. Helps built predator traps,
nourished wounded birds to health.
Children count and document.
Pale blue chicks hatch and grow,
march each year into sea,
return to breed again.

We are privileged visitors,
two among sixteen this day.
Ride rugged roads cross mountain tops,
marvel at miniature ships below.
Hills and seas, aquamarine and greens,
panoramic challenge to peripheral skills.

Sheep scamper as we descend,
his valley tall with forests proud.
We peek into nesting havens,
met by quiet, watched by trusting eyes.
Some sit upon their eggs,
others sit, little ones wedged beside.

And we witness this miracle of life.

Because one man and his wife,
dared to say enough.
Sacrificed wealth as many know it.
live a simple life upon and with the land
guardians to an eco system.
Their love given to generations.

Come take their tour and see their work
and you shall leave with wonder in your heart.
One extended family
in New Zealand’s awesome land.
Protectorates for nature
as it used to be.

On our amazing journey; now in New Zealand. We had the privilege of spending an afternoon at the Pohatu Penguin Sanctuary, located in Flea Bay near Akaroa, NZ. Mr Francis Helps and his wife (and children now; and eventually his grandchildren) do amazing work to protect the land and insure the Australasian Little Blue Penguins continue to survive. They also have 1,000 sheep on their land – have planted and are guardians of native forest. Such an amazing day. Such a dedicated family and a truly meaningful mission. This narrative poem is their story and dedicated to them. These small creatures are now thriving rather than disappearing.

17 thoughts on “Australasian Little Penguins

  1. kiwinana November 21, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    Your post makes me very happy, blue penguins are beautiful and well worth the trip to see them.
    Thanks for sharing your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:34 am

      So glad you enjoyed. Just home for our 40 day journey — Singapore, Bali, Australia and New Zealand. Jet lag reigns! Shall be back to my regular posting now……just reading comments too. Many thanks! It was amazing to see what this family is doing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:34 am

      Glad you enjoyed! Just returned home — begining my regular postings again and trying to catch up on reading too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881 November 22, 2016 / 1:16 am

    That is an amazing story – something new that you have brought me from New Zealand, Lillian. I love penguins!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:35 am

      This was one of our many remarkable experiences on this journey. Home now….hoping to get over some serious jet lag (as in Sydney was 16 hours ahead of Boston so it was always tomorrow!) and here I am at 3:30 AM….sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 December 4, 2016 / 3:42 am

        It’s just gone 8.30 am here and I’ve been up a couple of hours now. I’m getting ready to visit mum in the care home today – it’s a six and a half hour round trip – I get jet lag just from that! I hope everything balances out for you very soon – jet lag can be hard on the body and mind. I’ll see you over at the pub for the quadrille tomorrow. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:37 am

      Jet lag replies — 3:30 AM here in Boston. Sydney was 16 hours ahead of Boston so it was always tomorrow 🙂 Have no idea what time my body thinks it is! Glad you liked this one. It was one of the most amazing experiences we had!


    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:38 am

      It was indeed. Jet lag reigns…..thus writing and commenting now. Just posted a poem using the past prompt “breath.” Getting back to my writing — and hopefully tomorrow, my reading too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Victoria C. Slotto December 4, 2016 / 4:10 pm

        Go easy on yourself. I’m still overwhelmed with things to do after spending most of November taking care of things after my Mom’s death. So much to deal with. I’ve barely written and far behind on commenting.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Renee Espriu November 29, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    I have a brother who lives in New Zealand and one of the stories he tells is of a house he lived in where penguins lived beneath his porch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:39 am

      This was just an awesome part of our 40 day trip to Singapore, Bali, Australia and New Zealand. This family is so dedicated — and we learned so much from them! Glad you enjoyed the piece! Yep – penguins burrow so under a porch sounds perfectly penguinish! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AM Roselli November 30, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    What a beautiful and captivating journey you are walking. Your posts here are exquisite poetry in language and in meaning. How your experiences teach beyond the lands you are visiting. So glad you selflessly share all these spectacular travels:)
    Hope your holiday was grandly warm:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian December 4, 2016 / 3:32 am

      Ah my dear friend….so good to see your comment here. We are just back from a 40 day journey that included Singapore, Bali, Australia and New Zealand….and I am writing in the midst of jet lag. Impossible to post or read during trip — as so much to see and marvel at and most often, absolutely no internet connection. So, with piles of laundry, I am just getting back to my writing and reading. Must return to bed now and try to sleep…last 5 days were in Sydney which is 16 hours ahead of Boston so it was always tomorrow there! Shall get to reading some AM tomorrow — with a strong cup of coffee!!! Is the book published yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      • AM Roselli December 4, 2016 / 8:07 am

        what a spectacular journey
        I can only dream of such wonders
        you must be floating on clouds of amazement right now!
        enjoy, relax, unwind, unpack;)
        my posts and comments have slowed greatly – I’m trying to return to writing and arting, push the book a bit, while Xmas preparing:)
        book is out –, Amazon and barnes and noble (cheapest there)

        Liked by 1 person

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