The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Petrel Patrol

Off Cornwall, lie the Scilly Isles –
their name means ‘of the Sun’.
They’re small, just over 6 square miles,
and charming, every one.

All sorts of seabirds gather here –
the puffins, skuas too,
storm petrels, chirping shrill and clear,
above the seas of blue.

These petrels often follow boats,
the fishing trawler type.
The birds fly fast in slick black coats –
each has a white-rump stripe.

They like to follow storms as well,
to chase the wind and rain!
They flutter up above the swell
of waves, again, again!

In years gone by, they liked to chase
the sea ships that went down –
a time to stare Death in the face
and watch the poor souls drown.

And Bryher was the island known
for wrecks, in its Hell Bay.
The wind whipped up and ships were thrown
on rocks by night and day.

The sailors learned to stay ashore
while petrels fluttered high.
It was a sign from God, they swore,
that tragedy was nigh.

About the Writer

Felicity Teague

Felicity Teague (Fliss for short) has a very serious job in publishing and enjoys writing poems during her playtime. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including The HyperTexts, Snakeskin and The Ekphrastic Review. From 2014 to 2016, she was Poet-in-Residence of Happenstance Border Morris, a Morris dancing group in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. She also enjoys art, birdwatching, films, music and photography, and she loves guinea pigs!