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Karla Linn Merrifield


Lo! I’m awake, I think, and blinking.
Because what to my wondering eye
has appeared this bright morning
right outside my cabin porthole?
Penguins! Batches of chinstraps,
gaggles of plump toddling birds
in black berets, black capes,
white bibs and—pink sneakers!
Waddle, hop, waddle, waddle, hop, hop,
sli-i-i-i-ide to the fast-ice edge
for an early hour’s frigid dive.
Make way for pudgy, hungry,
flipper-flapping penguins
and penguins tooting their kazoo voices:
Krill, krill, krill, we’ll get our fill!
And off the briny brink they go—
plop, plop, plop, plop, splash—
into the deep blue smorgasbord,
into the rich Antarctic seas.
Another fine day gets under way
in penguin paradise. Ah, penguin glory! 

From The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press).
Used here with the author’s permission.




Karla Linn Merrifield describes herself as “a poet who likes to go places” and “one who likes to take people places.”  A nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, she has had 600+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies Karla is the author of 12 books and is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye. Learn more about this "Vagabond Poet" at at



Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Great portrayal of penguins!
Posted 04/25/2019 02:45 PM
michael escoubas:
Stunning, delightful language! Nicely done, Karla.
Posted 04/25/2019 09:20 AM
Such beautiful poetic variety and a stunning title!
Posted 04/25/2019 08:52 AM
Larry Schug:
I've never heard a penguin's call described before. Who knew it would be a kazoo?
Posted 04/25/2019 07:35 AM
Ah yes, who doesn't love the penguins. No bird on earth is as comical and sweet. And I do love this poem, Karla
Posted 04/25/2019 07:00 AM

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