August 20, 2012 Poetry Mash Up Continues… and a Sunset, too.
Science and Poetry Continues!
At the Seabird Olympics
The seabird’s Darth Vader, the long-tailed jaeger,
Makes his pirate’s patrol, taking his toll on the kittiwake’s hold
of a silvery fish, who wishes instead
that both birds will fumble their dish
Back to that blue roiling ocean, always in motion,
Fat-bellied auklets skip whitecaps like gauntlets, and murres in military line
Haul fish for their chicks who are waiting on cliffs-
far off in the mist - some will dine.
Then shearwaters appear to be held by the air
Gently touching the waves as they glide.
They’ve crossed oceans to get here, to feast and be done here,
they’ve no time to waste to survive.
Where the Bering Sea squeezes past Diomede’s breezes
Through the gates of the Chukchi Sea;
There puffins will pass you and fulmars follow you
looking out from the bridge of the Healy.
It’s the seabird Olympics, staged yearly, its epic;
Started long before you were born.
Their gold medals are chicks fledged,
or being well fed for a 10,000 mile trip home.
You can still see them, but dress warm, its freezing
For the ice is not far behind.
Seabirds work really hard, whirling wings and tongues barbed
so the games will start next year on time.
From the Healy,
Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense.
HJM, Biological Oceanography graduate student at UAF
Oh Ice, Oh Ice
Never forgiving and not very nice.
On our hull you let out your screams
Never allowing us to remember our dreams
although you are beautiful in the endless sun
Remember we must - you are deadlier then a large gun.
Cruel and unforgiving you must be
To forever remind us that survival is key
Life giving to us - you are not
to remain with you we would surely rot
mother to the seal the walrus and bear
we continue to venture out on a wing and a prayer
with all the danger why do we dare
we go in the name of science
we only wish for your compliance
water may be your daughter
we are not here to slaughter
Onward in the name of science
we care not of your defiance
earth may be your son
it matter not for we have won
Kurt Stewart MSTC
Everyone is working many hours to complete as much testing and sampling as possible with occasional breaks to look at walruses, polar bears, the sky, and ice. If I were to write a poem about the scientists’ life these past couple of days, it would go something like this:
Work, eat (maybe), work, walrus, work, eat (maybe), work, bear, work, eat (maybe), work, eat (maybe), midnight sunset, work, sleep (maybe). REPEAT.
We are working at an astonishing place on Earth. I am thankful to have this opportunity to participate in the science to understand the complexities of this pristine environment.