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Dictionary of Birds
(Any Order)

ALBATROSS.

Widely flying over polar seas he's white
with black tips to wing & tail. He’s rarely
landbased.
When the unending wind howls he glides
comfortably...       Patiently on a quiet sea he captures
squid & cuttlefish...
He's supremely a pliant god to sailors.
With salt pork they snatch him hooked to a swung line
to guard & guide them.

***

A mariner - terrified (his ship trapped in the ice) - sings:
‘Surely our god who walks our deck & eats our food
will crack the ice with lightningstrike & thunderroll
& set us free!..’

But all too soon – distraught - the sailor said:
‘THAT BLESSED BIRD WAS DEAF & DUMB - a useless ghost
I SHOT HIM DEAD!’

Note

With apologies to the welknown Rime…

Although this unfamiliar bird is still the mariners’  god, he's totally unpredictable, they say, & can never be relied on to listen or answer. (If he's now dead, some of them declare, he deserves to be!)