Chungé* Sonnet


“Then all the nations of birds lifted together the huge net of the shadows of this earth in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues…”
—Derek Walcott, (b.1930 – d.2017) born and died on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean sea. He won the1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Chungé’s Continuous Celestial Circus
As they turn and tumble in a bright blue sky
oblivious to people and predators below
flying in tandem above aloof apart from gravity
with minimal effect on their acrobatic flow
in and out of sight swooping sideways and soaring
rocking and reeling with and against the wind
their gentle gymnastic gyrations never boring
like paper kites their wings don’t seem to bend
aerial jigs and reels from these pure white birds
as twilight beckons them all back to their nest
their silent graceful flight needs elegant words
up there in celestial comfort parading their best
in the jungle below hiding in a wild papaya patch
feral cats wait for the chungé bird’s eggs to hatch.
A Reef Remembers and Retains
The reef remembers almost everything
and some time for many years it retains
plastic, trash, shells where barnacles cling
muddy discharge for days after heavy rains
chungé birds fly in pair formation offshore
wheeling in tandem on invisible trapeze
these graceful acrobats know what air is for
they cavort and catapult capriciously with ease
the heavy thud of waves outside on the reef
are reminders of the typhoon that just passed
for many days moving acting the sand thief
no one knows how long rough waves will last
clean beaches inside the reef took a beating
long-time remembrances are now seeding.

*Chungé are a common white tern in the CNMI.

Joey ‘Pepe Batbon’ Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Joey aka Pepe Batbon is a retired educator who taught in the CNMI, NOLA, and LVNV. He is a sonnet practitioner who enjoys stargazing.

Joey 'Pepe Batbon' Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)

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