Elsehul, South Georgia

(personal photographs)
Ancient mariner’s soggy realm
shrouded behind a veil.
Moist sky plunges to sea,
draws back curtain to magic.

Fur seals shimmer among foam waves.
Albatross, prion, starlings, petrels
glide, dive, flit in silence.
Air is alive with movement.

A Right whale arches to the surface,
an elegant waltz across the bay,
returns to the deep
with a coquettish flick of her tail.

Penguins dot steep hillside,
tiny acrobats on a slick slope.
Great bull seals shake shaggy heads,
ripple jello jowls of fur and blubber.

In an instant the sea is angry
splashing colourful gortex,
stinging exposed flesh.
Wind bites,
chases zodiac back to the ship,
protects penguin chicks and seal pups
from prying camera lens.

Fog descends once more.
Hides treasures briefly exposed,
a tease of the glory
of the ancient mariner’s realm.

Speechless



Words have fled my lips,
like moulting feathers that litter the ground,
useless.
My heart is in my throat.
I see abundance.
Numerous seals and penguins dot the landscape
like so many pixels creating an image.
Great beauty rises from stark surroundings.
Thick glaciers melt into leaping waterfalls,
cascade to the sea.
Wash over red rust whaling station scars
that blister the horizon.
Macabre glory days over,
sea and salt air reclaim what once ignored her.
Beleaguered oil containers lean into the future
waiting for cargo that will no longer fill
their insatiable appetite.
Once we pillaged the sea,
now the earth.

Perpetual Grin

chinstrap

(personal photo)
I had a two foot tall escort,
black and white on my left.
Dark cap strapped smartly
below his little chin.

We slipped and slid
along a snowy slope,
his steps mirrored mine.

A crunch,
a waddle,
a slide corrected,
we descended in time.

A perpetual grin
on his face
and now, also on mine.