Pondering a Puffin (poem) by Brian A. Hartford

Pondering a Puffin

by Brian A. Hartford

What a strange product of Nature,

the Puffin, is to what I refer.

Large orange beaked,

attached to a small head.

The body isn’t much of which to

black plumage, and not much more.

What miracle that such a design,

will support such a structure.

The white breast,

orange webbed feet,

such a clownish appearance.

The eyes highlight the costume,

small dots in a white feather field.

Is this costume for camouflage or,

for a darker spirit?

In Nature, it is not wise to guess,

it is uniqueness.

Fisherman by design,

to swim natural as it’s flight.

A source of amasement to me,

sheer joy to know he exists.

He returns to the cliffs of his

guards the nest.

protecting his unborn from the snare,

hazard of being a gastronomic

What a joy to know the puffin,

It is good to know he exists.

I am amused to think that,

the joke is on me.


Puffin (poem) by Suellen Wedmore


Underwater, a premier danseur,
his turns a blur,
his orange feet steer

through the orchestra
of seaweed and tide,
this sea parrot, this clown

of the Atlantic, harlequin-billed
with jester’s eyes;
take one for your own

and the dance of life
takes a turn. The one I choose,

is on his fifth mate,
despite the fact that puffins
are monogamous: no guilt

on Eastern Egg Rock!
What’s important
is the burrow

lined with grass and sticks,
that he was seen
approaching the nest

with a half dozen fish in his bill.
While his wings spin
like a windmill at sea,

on land he hops awkwardly
across rocks, wings tucked
under the tail of his tuxedo.

In spring, he’s genius
of the thermals,
the sun whispers stage directions,

gravity reveals its secrets
as he flies toward his island
without map or compass
from far across the sea.

— Suellen Wedmore

There Once Was A Puffin…

There Once Was a Puffin

Oh, there once was a Puffin
Just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island
In the bright blue sea!

He ate little fishes,
That were most delicious,
And he had them for supper
And he had them for tea.

But this poor little Puffin,
He couldn’t play nothin’,
For he hadn’t anybody
To play with at all.

So he sat on his island,
And he cried for awhile, and
He felt very lonely,
And he felt very small.

Then along came the fishes,
And they said, “If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates,
Instead of for tea!”

So they now play together,
In all sorts of weather,
And the Puffin eats pancakes,
Like you and like me.

by Florence Page Jaques

(This poem was originally in Child Life magazine and then reprinted in The Big Golden Book Of Poetry by Jane Werner Watson (1947). I will continue to try to track down the original issue and year of Child Magazine this lovely poem appeared and report it when I do.)

See this post for an update–with pictures from the original book There Once Was A Puffin was reprinted in, The Big Golden Book of Poetry by Jane Werner Watson (1947).