A wonderful bird is the pelican ,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see
how the helican!
— Dixon Lanier Merritt

Skimming the calm ocean surface
Hovering then flapping its wings
The gray pelican hunts for food
Predator in the scheme of things
Swiftly an arrow up the skies
The bird in circles sailplaning
Keen sharp eyes on the sea below
For miles aware his surrounding
Blinding flash, a vertical plunge
Straight down under water splashing
In a short while he emerges
Feasting on a fish while floating
Happened before our very eyes
One afternoon 'neath bluest skies
© F Aparici

One afternoon at the beach here in St Croix, my wife and I were fascinated watching a grey pelican skimming just a foot above the water, then it shoots up into the sky, circles a few times then like a dive bomber, plunges into the ocean, down under with a big splash. Moments later it emerges, a fish in its giant beaks, gorging on its prey while floating. This poem just a little tribute to the lowly pelican.


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