Snow Petrels


On skies and seas

veiled white with light,

snow petrels weave

and wheel in flight,


they glide and skim

from high to low,

a falling flock

of feathered snow.


In courtship chases

pair by pair

they braid their paths

of freezing air,


birds of Antarctic


the cliffs, the sea,

the snow, the ice.



Pagodrama nivea – Snow petrels are not endangered, but of the 131 species of petrel and albatross, 62% have been classified by the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species as Extinct, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened.


Snow petrels is in my book, Animal Magic, which is available from:

IRON Press and Amazon and bookshops.


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  1. hi liz i just wanted to know what inspired you to write this and when it was made

    Comment by florence — September 29, 2012 #

  2. hi liz its florence again one more question what style of writing/language would u say u have used

    Comment by florence — September 29, 2012 #

  3. Hello Florence! I was inspired to write this poem after watching videos of snow petrels and reading as much as I could about them and the way they live – and also reading accounts of people who have seen them in the wild.

    I have used a lot of alliteration in this poem, both at the start of the words and inside the words, including many uses of the letter ‘s’ to evoke the sound of the sea and wind.

    I have not mentioned much of anything except flying, the air, the sky, the sea and the ice to help with conjuring the few things that encompass the world of the snow petrels.

    Comment by Liz — September 30, 2012 #

  4. Beautiful poem and it’s wonderful to meet new critters with you! 🙂

    Comment by Bette A. Stevens — August 8, 2014 #


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