Mr & Mrs Albatross

They can’t survive on plastic


Theirs is not to ask where they’ve been.

What they have seen? Were you faithful?

It’s just a matter of fact.

Microdots skimming Pacific waves.

Bathing in southernmost waters

on windy-sleety nights.

Waltzing with death under gathering cyclones

in the shadow of Antarctic Ice.


Oceans apart, a much hackneyed phrase,

means nothing to this dedicated pair.

There’s no boredom when survival’s the game.

No time for infidelity.

Meeting each year to dance their Tango.

Castanet beaks snap in mirrored choreography.

Preparation, preparation, starvation.

An egg nursed to ugly demanding fluff.


Daily sojourns. Kilometres in thousands.

Alternating teamwork pays off.

The fluff becomes a Heath-Robinson glider

making its final tumbling take-off

while their backs are turned.


With innate understanding they separate.

Not for them Peter Green’s soft-centred anthem.

Just Dame Vera’s aspiration to meet again.

© Guaj 2023
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A flowing tribute to these beautiful birds.

Just a few suggestions/edits for you to chew on:

2nd line – What they’ve seen and “Were you faithful?”
6th line in second stanza – mirrored choreography
1st line in last stanza – with innate understanding



I liked this piece, as a fellow Albatross fancier. I’ve recently read The Lonely South, by Andre Migot; in which he describes their strange nuptial dances – on Kerguelen island.



LOVED it! I recommend a new documentary on Netflix. (Hardly ever go there it is so well…’nuff said)
Anyway, It is called ‘The Octopus, my teacher.’

The most beautiful documentary and this poem gives me the same feeling. Man has entered the sacred inner sanctum of the Albatross. That much maligned bird of great beauty.
An incredible poem .
Alison x


I find this piece a lovable one. Good work.


Enjoyed this poem. The couple are almost human-like in their ability to fly around the world and deal with all these issues and keep their relationship going.

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