Friday, October 18, 2019

Marbled Murrelet

Marbled Murrelet egg

She tends her nest well,
small brown mother,
laying her single tiny egg
on a mossy nest
perched on a  limb
of  Sitka Spruce.
To support the nest,
it must be old growth,
now endangered, like the murrelet herself,
like the polar bears, the whales, the salmon.
Like us.

She and her mate take turns
sitting on the egg; they change places
every 24 hours at dawn.

Then she zooms across the forest
out to sea,
to eat plankton.

Because we are alive,
we mothers continue to tend,
to nurture life,
to protect.
We know no other way.

Midst all the warring horror,
on a heating planet,
among the dying species,
small brown mothers everywhere
cling precariously to life
on the edge.

It is so courageous,
it stops my breath.

Murrelet chick

These tiny birds feed in the ocean, and fly up to 55 miles inland back to their nests.  They feed their chicks eight times a day. Their wings must get so tired! (I know mine are!) They are on the brink of extinction, with the disappearance of old growth. Only 7500 remain, according to Audubon.

for my prompt at Toads: On Wonder


  1. I am glad there are mother wolves in the world - such a glorious of hope amidst the loss

  2. What hurts me about the plight of our fellow inhabitants of this world of ours is that so few of us care that many species are dying out all over the world. Profit and gain must come before our planet's future...we are completely mad!

  3. Nature is so good at showing us the best examples of how to be our best.

  4. "We know no other way" -- and go in the small reserve of human awe. So sorry it isn't wider. The natural particulars here give this poem so many feathers.

  5. The last two lines...oh my heart. So many miracles and wonders in the world. And the tiniest eclipse them all.

  6. Because we are alive,
    we mothers continue to tend,
    to nurture life,
    to protect.

    This is so true. The diligence of bird parents amazes me too.

  7. Mothers as little nuturing brown birds
    is a tender touching image...lovely poem

  8. I really love the resilience... and I really hope that they will make it, had not heard about that little auk..

  9. Nature is wonderful, and so are tiny birds that work so hard to survive. I’d never heard of these birds before and was interested to read about them in your lovely poem and your notes, Sherry. I love the image of the small brown mother laying her single tiny egg, and the comparison with human mothers.

  10. I have never heard of these birds, but they are so cute, and so worth saving.

  11. Really love the way you have drawn a parallel between the mother bird and the human mothers.

  12. You have a beautiful way of connecting the dots in life. I hope our planet will see changes for the better for all species of life.


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