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Ode on Bird Island

Bird Island (2).jpg

Chaykovsky Igor, ’Bird Island’ 

A pocketful of paradise, bird isle,
immersed in cyan seas, beset with shoals
of spot trevally crossing coral pile,
electric-blue carangue on food patrols.
Ashore, brown bar-tailed godwits chirp a‘ights,
while speckled plovers skate the slick white sands
and turnstones probe for periwinkle treats;
then ak, ker-ak! a sooty flock alights
on coco-palms within the forest lands
of vines and orchids, moist pink lily streets.

Paean to conservation, ground doves sing
as white-tailed tropicbirds may safely nest
among the roots of she-oak trees or wing
the Seychelles skies in smart tailcoat and vest.
How Esmeralda, tortoise, nods his head
in rapt approval as his friends are tracked
and granted haven beach to lay their eggs;
for all long winter, in a tunnelled bed
a tiny baby leaps from shell fresh cracked
and scrambles seaward, flapping arms and legs.

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Poetry Nook contest winner, November 2021

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I was very pleased to score another win at Poetry Nook in November, particularly as I won with this poem. I composed it about five years ago, inspired by research I performed for Yellow Zebra Safaris. My job involves providing descriptions of accommodation across Safari Africa and the company had decided to include the Seychelles in its portfolio.

There‘s only one lodge on Bird Island: Bird Island Lodge! While reading about this property, I found out about the island‘s wildlife. As you‘d expect, there are a lot of birds, but there are giant tortoises too, most notably Esmeralda, who is actually a male! And there are lovely hawksbill and green turtles too. You can read all about the Seychelles here.

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