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3 minute read

Patagonia's Magdalena Island Through a Guest's Eyes

March 12, 2024

On a rising Patagonian dawn

As an orange sliver sliced violet darkness
we set off from Punta Arenas, sandy point
riding along twisted trees
and cypress topiaries
Sailing on the windy Strait of Magellan
in our orange vests on a swaying ferry
Excitedly forging ahead
choppy waters below us
soaring cormorants above us
porpoising dolphins blessing us
We sight Magdalena island
like Magellan of yesteryear
Jaw dropping scene
of a sea of white and black
Moving creatures
an island pulsating
like waves on jagged shores
life teeming as dots
everywhere the eye could see
colonies of sea gulls, white to baby gray
Magellan penguins, bedecked in necklaces
up and down slopes
around bends and cliffs
crossing human trails,
owning their limestone kingdom
burrowing into caves
carved by dainty feet
and mighty strength
Heads thrown back, howling to the sky
cries and creature chatter
carrying across cool breezes
and o’er sweeping vistas
dawdling solo, flapping wings
scampering across in play
or standing in circles
holding family pow wows
Penguin symphonies
Conductor in shiny black coat
and babies following suit
Sometimes coupled in romantic corners
two by two, spooning, standing,
curled up to their mate for season
Sometimes patches of grass in beaks
mothers and babies, human they seem
Delighting the heart, antics for days
sharing space, peaceful living
Seagulls and penguins,
organized litter artfully stationed,
Nature is indeed a master artist

Sky grows dark and raindrops moisten cheeks
you don’t have to go, but you can’t stay here
But worry not as there is a new surprise
awaiting on Marta’s island
Climbing atop the ferry roof, arms akimbo,
feet planted firm, we flock to see
another one of nature’s gifts
We hear before we see,
loud barks from the horizon
and in the sky large condors
There lie plump sea lions
camouflaged like warrior paint
straddling the horizon, lying cleopatra style
browns, sables, and noir
Clownish faces, endearing expressions
How much joy can my heart take?
Oh but nature is nowhere done
for look up above, and behold!
In jagged caves and pockmarked indents
all along the height,
there are penguins lined up to delight!
Gratitude wells up like a wall of surf
Who knew the end of the world
would be so magical?!

Dr. Amee Shah

February 19, 2024

You can follow Dr. Shah on Instagram: @poetessDrAmeeShah

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

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