Flying for Life

Flying for their lives:

‘Every year, millions of shorebirds fly between Australasia and the Arctic. But for many, this will be their last flight…’

Take an extraordinary journey along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway with Ann Jones.

Article and images at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-17/flying-for-your-life-ann-jones/7459288

The strangeness of flight:

…You stand there
shaken
by the strangeness…
…you stare like an animal into
the blinding clouds
with the snapped chain of your life,
the life you know:
the deeply affectionate earth,
the familiar landscapes
slowly turning
thousands of feet below.

from Flying by Mary Oliver

 

In for the long-haul

One good Tern:

Arctic-Tern-Standard

Arctic tern flies a record-breaking 96,000km return migration, from Northumberland’s Farne Islands to Antarctica’s Weddell Sea, in ten months.

More at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/07/arctic-tern-makes-longest-ever-migration-equal-to-flying-twice-around-the-planet

and at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/news/2016/06/arcticterns/

Inner Farne, Northumberland

image at wikipedia.org

The Way to Keep Going in Antarctica

Be strong Bernadette

Nobody will ever know

I came here for a reason

Perhaps there is a life here

Of not being afraid of your own heart beating

Do not be afraid of your own heart beating

Look at very small things with your eyes

& stay warm

Nothing outside can cure you but everything’s outside

There is great shame for the world in knowing

You may have gone this far

Perhaps this is why you love the presence of other people so much

Perhaps this is why you wait so impatiently

You have nothing more to teach

Until there is no more panic at the knowledge of your own real existence

& then only special childish laughter to be shown

& no more lies no more

Not to find you no

More coming back & more returning

Southern journey

Small things & not my own debris

Something to fight against

& we are all very fluent about ourselves

Our own ideas of food, a Wild sauce

There’s not much point in its being over: but we do not speak them:

I had written: “the man who sewed his soles back on his feet”

And then I panicked most at the sound of what the wind could do

to me

if I crawled back to the house, two feet give no position, if

the branches cracked over my head & their threatening me, if I

covered my face with beer & sweated till you returned

If I suffered what else could I do

by Bernadette Mayer.

More at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/49723

Ice in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

image at wikipedia.org