The bar-tailed godwit caught birddom by surprise When word got out just how far this bird flies
A juvenile Limosa lapponica, satellite tag 2-3-4-6-8-4 flew nonstop from Alaska to the Tasmanian shore! 13,560 kilometers nonstop, eleven days and nights A new world record for marathon bird flights
“From Alaska to Tasmania? The devil, you say!” cried ravens and crows, “Every bird knows Claiming to fly 8400 miles To the Tasmanian isles— is the height of audacity! No bird has the capacity We protest with pugnacity Demanding veracity!”
The godwits conveyed a very chill groove They had, after all nothing to prove having set the prior world records in ‘20 and ‘21 A controversy was brewing Would their achievements be undone?
A commission was appointed for a bird’s-eye review into the facts of the matter the truth to pursue Wise owls were chosen to adjudicate this claim To settle once and for all who deserved the acclaim
First item considered had scientific backing Since satellite data Allowed accurate tracking Of the tagged young bird’s ultramarathon flights The facts indisputable No need for bird fights, ending investigation into this migration gyration
Bar-tailed godwits awarded the Oiseau de Plume for being the farthest nonstop flying bird in the room The Arctic terns too received acclamation For flying the farthest In their migration—pole to pole, 24,000 miles each year causing most birds present to stand up and cheer in spontaneous applause— But not all birds were willing To concede their cause
Displaying proclivity to resist the festivity The crows and ravens As they stormed out the door vowed in unison, wings clenched, “Nevermore!”
Based on a true story with poetic license added for spice.
When was the last time you flew 8400 miles nonstop? A bar-tailed godwit flew nonstop over 8400 miles from Alaska to Tasmania from October 13 through 24, 2022, setting a new world record for nonstop bird flight.
I have never been to Alaska, nor have I extended any effort to know its beauty. It seems too isolated and idealistic to house such an alluring landscape of frozen and serene natural monuments, ones that often plaster post cards at my local office.
You are a similar beauty. Your azure eyes. Your silvery voice. Your vermouth lips. The shape of your legs spread on my coffee table. Fantasies I have over the way you study me so deeply in nearly vacant cafes during the magic hour we seem to spend there so often.
You carry this grace that hides the messy and yet bottomless complications of an intelligent soul. And as with Alaska, I could visit if you weren’t so frozen. So stagnated by worldly conditions. Ones that cannot be simply overcome.
So don’t ask me what I want. I fear too often that I might expose the extremes of which I would venture to visit you. The willingness to feverish warmth, so that it might slow to soften our time spent in each other’s heads.
The mountains powdered with termination dust hark the end of summer. Soon the clusters of evergreens will be coated in snow, just as they were last winter. The snow falls flake by flake. It's in no rush to hit the ground; it will melt once it does. The fireweed has bloomed - only towering stalks and wilted magenta flowers remain.
The same type of peace befalls my quiet life. Slowly, I return to old ways. Like footprints in the snow, the tread of future days looks much like those of the past.
From this island water and more tiny islands heavily treed with Douglas fir landing ground for ocean otters while orca whales glide by spout and spray the beach, broken shelled puddled wells of tide pools filling, spilling over again brown bauble seaweed mingles round algae rocks, barnacle shingled here where the air breathes salt scented water running wild with salmon.
Home Such a deceptively simple concept When you have it you can’t describe it and take it for granted When you don’t you are forever searching aware of the hole in your heart but not knowing how to fill it
Some say home is where the heart is Where your people are Wherever you lay your head at night
But what if home is also a place? On this earth Tangible and corporeal Rooted in the land or water That each of us must seek And may never find
It could be where we were born Where we end up Or someplace we have never been
What happens if you never find that home? What happens if you did And then you leave
Alaska is that home for me Not a specific place or town But the combination of mountains, braided rivers, wildlife that requires respectful distance, weather that demands preparation, tundra, bogs, and spruce
I doubt I will ever live there again But it will always live in me