Fantastic Feathers


Fantastic Feathers


Compared to fur or human hair

feathers are a smart affair.

As down, their fluffy unzipped form

of under-feathers, keeps birds warm.


But barbs and barbules, shaft and quill

hide clues to how birds fly with skill.

Their contour feathers, zipped and long

make wafting wings so light yet strong.


From dowdy mums to vivid males

with crazy crests and splendid tails;

for camouflage or bright display

feathers have lots of roles to play.


by Celia Berrell

First published in Double Helix (September 2015)

Reproduced with permission of CSIRO


Take Note: from pillows to pens, feathers have helped humans sleep well and become educated!  Recently we learnt that some dinosaurs were feathered too.  Compared to fur, feathers are fascinatingly complex and some are almost magically colourful.  I find feathers fabulously beautiful.

Poem of the Day

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Blueberry Pancakes and Parachutes

Silvery streaks of morning-time rain

puddling into the mud

reminds me of blueberry pancakes

and circular see-through parachutes.


Raindrops aren’t teardrops.

There’s no pointy tip.

Those free-falling globules

are blueberry round.


But if they meet-up

as they fall through the sky

a middle-sized raindrop


might suddenly start to appear.


Bigger and larger and bulkier still

fast-falling raindrops

past pancake proportions

with stretch in the centre

and drag through the air.


For less than a second

becoming a dome

these small glassy parachutes

wobble then burst

to break into

blueberry droplets again.

Celia Berrell
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #11

Celia said: I was delighted to learn that raindrops make all these weird shapes as they fall to the ground.  This year I hope to receive Your Poems about the wonders of water for the Science Rhymes website.