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.

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.

Vision

penguin

(photo credit: personal photo)
I saw with my own eyes
a humpback breach
on cool grey waters. An ice berg floating
in the distance.
I did not need a macro lens shutter burst
to know that I had witnessed
a beautiful spectacle.

I saw with my own eyes
elephant seals jostle and wrestle
like young males flexing their muscles
in a gym.
I did not need to check the angle of the sun
or composition of the image before me
in order to enjoy.

I saw with my own eyes
penguins on a black sand beach.
Fur seals and elephant seals lay in the sun.
I sat on a dirt mound, without a camera lens.
Curious chicks waddled close.
I did not need a view finder
to see herringbone feather patterns
an arm’s length away from me.

I saw with my own eyes
seals leap in the bow waves of our boat.
Somersaults and flips
brought a smile to my face.
I did not need video replay to witness
their fun living in the moment.

I saw with my own eyes.
I heard with my own ears.
I do not need technology to know
life is not meant to be
viewed through a narrow lens.
I want the panorama.