Forgotten (Islands) Memory

Has mankind ever been here?
I ask with doubt, and little fear.
The sky above the tiny ceiling,
Nights in the cabin, dreaming.
Like I was lying in the grass,
Until there is a new land mass.

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When’s the storm finally ending?
Not like my belly was depending.
But warm weather makes it easy,
And even if it’s breezy,
Most shirts are made from cotton.
To step on what’s forgotten.

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Where do all these birds come from?
When food is rich and winds are strong.
Eyes on water, friends on deck,
Waves and plenty birds to check.
Petrels, prions, purest tint:
Albatross – King of the Wind.

White-capped Albatross

How can these islands be forgotten?
Too distant is the planet’s bottom.
What sealers once brought south,
Were rodents, gluttonous mouths.
To NZ’s fine specimen of evolution,
They killed, and caused a revolution.

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What’s this island’s name?
I point out of the window frame.
The Zodiacs are loose:
Gum boots up to use.
Every second here is worthy.

That’s the Spirit of Enderby.

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What secret does this island hold?
Over rock as we are told.
Bursting is my little bubble,
Sea lions to cause a trouble.
Like a whisper off the silence:
Welcome to the Auckland Islands.

Yellow-eyed penguin

Will I survive today?
Keep on going, do not stay!
Do it like the yellow-eyeds,
A gap comes up, then walk with pride.
Meander through the mammal beach
Until a safer spot in reach.

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Don’t I need records of it all?
Penguins, seals, skua, and I scroll
The cliffs and Southern rata,
Fauna, flora and the strata
Between the megaherbs I see,
We are nature’s paparazzi.

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Camera out or camera in?
So they see to where I’ve been.
Like for like and follow trends,
Been sick of looking through that lens.
I became this life’s opponent.
Put it back, enjoy the moment.

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Is there something better than this?
Campbell Island – the hypothesis.
The way down there was kind of rough
700 km south of Bluff.
I wouldn’t know, whatsoever,
Campbell changing me forever.

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It came to our disappearance.
In the harbor. Perseverance.
The anchor dropped.
Time seemed to stop.
This small place, and its intensity
Life and waves for all eternity.

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Off the boat and on the track,
To Northwest Bay, Dumas and back.
Followed. By terns up on that hill.
We’ve got good sight and early thrill.
Remember that you be alert:
A lion bite could hurt.

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What are those white spots?
That are out there, lots.
From the golden tussock standing out,
Nesting royals without doubt.
No intention to expose her,
As we go a little closer.

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Prepared for the Pacific breeze.
We approach the bird at ease.
Just a tussock between us up high
The airbus taking off to fly.
Dazzled by its brightest white:
We lose the royal out of sight.

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I use my hands to block the sun
And understand it’s just begun.
Prior worries were redundant,
The royals here, they seem abundant.
Spread your wings and fly,
Over Campbell’s fickle sky.

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Will we reach Mount Honey’s top?
I ask and felt a drop.
Soon we’re soaked from wind that blew
Misty Mountain got no view.
Keep climbing, it is worthy,
That’s the spirit of Enderby.

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But should I really be here?
Is my touch too much? I fear.
Is my presence harming things?
Is it hurting flippers, leaves and wings?
Should I share of what I’ve gotten?
Or leave in peace, to be forgotten?

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Back aboard and off to sea,
Cotton shirt and warming tea.
On deck, we watch the bluest skies,
As Campbell Island loses size.
A privilege – it was indeed.
Loneliness is what I need.

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Be safe out there, your majesty.
And Campbell – favourite memory.
The sky above the tiny ceiling,
Nights in the cabin, dreaming.
Like I was lying in the grass,
Until there is a new landmass.

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