My heart slips,
Ice encrusted long ago,
Abandoned. Ignored.

Shattered sound
Too late I understand.
I am the abandoner.
Aortic contractions
in northernmost veins.

Earth shudders
lets go,
as I have her.


Anmol hosts Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today, she asks us to explore confessional poetry. In Confessional, whose voice is heard in the first stanza? The confessor appears in the second and third stanza. This is how I felt when we took our trip to Alaska several years ago. I witnessed and heard the calving that is occurring more and more as we ignore the plight of our earth. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Bane of Beauty

Be afraid,
I am Pterois Volitan.
Beautiful mane of dorsal fins,
lionfish in the reefs.

I eat as I please.
No predators have I,
save men no longer fooled.

I have crossed seas
wreaked havoc
and swim where I please.

Biodiversity be damned.
I am your nightmare
even as day dawns
gracing your shores.

IMG_9736Posted for Napowrimo Day 25. The challenge: to write a poem of warning. Photo taken at the Bermuda Aquarium/Zoo.

Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific, but have somehow invaded the U.S. southeast, the Caribbean, and parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Because they are not native to the Atlantic waters, they have very few predators. They feed on small crustaceans and fish, including the young of commercial species. They are dramatically and negatively affecting the fishing economy, native ecosystems and biodiversity.

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.