[Tweeters] Avian poetry: The Rhyme of the Ancient Murrelet by Tony Gaston

Kevin Purcell kevinpurcell at pobox.com
Thu Mar 31 09:42:16 PDT 2011

This poem "The Rhyme of the Ancient Murrelet" was mentioned on the Avian Poetry thread so I asked the author for a copy and if I post it and he provided it.

Does anyone know of the "on finding desolata" about the Antarctic Prion? Desolata from the binomial Pachyptila desolata. It's not on the web (AFAICT).

The Antarctic Prion is found on Crozet Islands which are the antipodes of Seattle so it is as far away from TWEETERSland as you can get.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Gaston,Tony [NCR]"

> Date: March 17, 2011 4:23:07 AM PDT

> To: <kevinpurcell at pobox.com>

> Subject: Avian poetry


> Kevin:


> What a nice idea. Do you have the poem "on finding desolata" about the Antarctic Prion?I do not remember the author right now, but it is the best seabird poem I ever read (far superior to mine). I can find the reference if you don't have it.


> My poem:


> The Rhyme of the Ancient Murrelet (p 226 of The Ancient Murrelet, A.J.

> Gaston 1992, Academic Press, San Diego), written in 1984


> To the deep forests of the night they come

> From far at sea, among the storm-tossed waves

> Where spruce and hemlock rear their spreading crowns

> And twining roots enclose their tiny caves


> Where light and sun may never pierce the gloom

> In shaft and passage far beneath the ground

> Among the roots they guard their precious hoard

> In chambers dark their treasure can be found


> When dusk has passed and clouds obscure the stars

> Their songs extol the dying of the light

> Turning the silence of the evening calm

> Into a shrill cacophony of night


> Their calling done, each to its burrow creeps

> And serenades its partner underground

> Then before dawn's light strikes the shore

> The minstrels flee far out upon the sound Tony Gaston


> My favourite bird poem: "Hawk Roosting" by Ted Hughes


> Tony Gaston

> Senior Research Scientist

> Wildlife Research Division, Environment Canada

> National Wildlife Research Centre

> Carleton University

> Ottawa K1A 0H3

> 613-998-9662

Kevin Purcell (Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA)
kevinpurcell at pobox.com

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