Midway V – Poem: On witnessing an albatross feeding

On witnessing an albatross feeding

To witness a young albatross open wide
its translucent, newborn throat,
open the soft, pink shell to its mother,
to the contents of the sea she carried
in her body for thousands of miles,
for over twenty million years – to watch,
today, the chick wholly embrace
the amber-colored squid oil
and cloaked shards of plastic,
to see it all slip down in an act
of ancient swallowing – is to witness
eons of trust absorbed into nature’s gut.
And for our own trusting throats
defended by lips, teeth and taste buds,
we evolved to sweeten what poisons us.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Posted February 12, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Excellent project. Very necessary. Very sad.
    My thoughts:

    http://duckrabbit.info/blog/2012/02/angry-poetry-the-legacy-of-the-chemist/

  2. Posted February 13, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    What images this poem evokes. the comparison with our diets….at least we have a choice and the ability to discern proper diet from plastic…from poison.

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  • MIDWAY

    The MIDWAY media project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.

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