Thoughts about Penguins

I

Arctic prop forwards
Beanbags with bones
After-lunch fat cats
Teetering home

Novelty U-boats
Slipping below
Black and white moonbeams
Specks in the snow

Icicle missiles
Targeting fish
Is flight, I wonder,
Their secret wish?

II

The gulls, with envy, look down from high
As penguins cavort like shadows at sea;
White bellies below deceive the shark’s eye.

That most truculent little Adélie
Is not known to back down from anything,
But there is one thing bound to make them flee,

Take to the skies on vestigial wing:
When the smiling orcas begin to sing.

III

Every rock a rockhopper fails to hop
Could mean the chance to see a sea lion
Or go toe-to-toe with black-toed skua
– If they don’t face the final, fatal drop.

IV

O egg! Beneath your
Parental haunches: please hatch,
Adapt; winter comes.