The Pohatu Flood
A poem by Averil Parthonnaud

The rain came down and the creek did rise – our traps were in trouble! ... which was a big surprise.

Shireen had saved them from floating away – but penguin nest boxes could be next to float down the bay.

She called us up and we came over the hill – the road was treacherous, muddy and needed driving with skill.

Waterfalls everywhere, slips and mud – this was turning out to be a hell of a flood!

We put wet-suits on to work out in the rain – we ran around the colony and gave nest boxes a drain.

The creek was a river, the driveway was too – big trees floating down and debris to get through.

Penguins were in trouble, with no time to waste – we collected flood prone chicks from boxes with haste.

21 chicks and 2 pet sheep in the kitchen – we watched from the window to a worsening condition.

A whitewater river crashed through the garage – and the Quad bike and boat took off with the barrage.

The flood water rose right up to the door – and we thought we would have raised things off the floor.

The penguin chicks were stinky and stunk out the room! – Shireen and Francis looked out the window and said… “better in here than facing their doom!”

With a sleepless night we watched the water recede – all the chicks were hungry and needed a feed.

With the morning light – we took in a grim sight.

The landscape had changed – it had all rearranged.

All the bridges were gone and our vehicles stuck – everything covered with debris and muck.

The nesting boxes had all disappeared – just exactly what we had… feared.

Pest free and Doc came to our aid – we carried chicks out over a new river, boulders and cascade.

Over the slips we hiked up the hill – carrying chicks through the rain and the… chill.

With the chicks now safe in rehabilitation, we needed help to rebuild their homes – which would take some organization!

The call went out, we need nest boxes, chicken wire and wood - old towels, fish and help if you could?

The community responded without delay – many things arriving that very day!

With the community’s help we got stuff done! Working all week in a hot summer sun.

Nest boxes put back for penguins to find – volunteers doing clean-up, rebuild and just being Kind.

The chicks safe and sound now and most fledged to sea – into the blue, being wild and free.

The colony on track and ready for molt – mother nature never stops – nothing's on holt.

With the community - working in unity and their hard work and dedication – Pohatu can still continue the on-going … conservation.