we travelled south
east and west
each taking a bone
to plant and tend
we grew great forests
gave them names
like laughter, love
there were swans and lakes
hills and streams
dreams took place
and then one summer
years from then
I caught my breath
and there before me
on the shore
a skiff, a whale boat
we went north
where the whaling ships
once hunted – found them
rotting like beached leviathans
and on the shore
rocks and caribou antlers
great spikes seaweed draped
the blue grey background
inviting only to the brave
who would venture out
between the droplet islands
your wake watched
by black eyed monsters
and banshee winds in
I never knew my father
his soul was cast adrift
when I was a child
but out there
and up here
I can still feel the roughness
of his hand
when I close my own
cartridges for partridges
hunting dogs for wily fox
wire snares for sprinting hares
metal chains for dancing bears
thar she blows for breaching whales
garlic oil for garden snails
eeny, meanie, messy moles
shooting rhinos with crossbows
fishing tackle, slitting throats
sacrificing billy gruff goats
throw our plastic in the sea
top it up with poo and pee
budgies, parrots, love birds too
stick ’em in a cage will do
factory farms for pigs and cows
cages for the calves and sows
I don’t know where I’m heading here
but mankind sure acts kind of weird
Stop crossing busy roads and getting squashed you numbskulls.
Stop migrating over lands where you’ll get shot, netted, eaten or stuffed.
Stop mixing with cattle and risk being culled for allegedly spreading TB.
Stop smiling and acting like you want to entertain us in tiny cramped pools.
Stop going near Japan, Iceland, Norway, Eskimos and harpoons ffs.
Stop growing your ivory tusks and you’ll avoid being poached.
Stop growing your pointy horns and you’ll also avoid being poached.
Stop swimming in large shoals which are easily detected by trawler men.
Stop being so lazy and get shagging to save your species. D’oh!
Stop eating plastic and sticking straws up your noses you idiots.
Stop burning bright in the forests of the night and get yourselves more camouflaged.
Stop lagging behind in the evolution stakes and get like your cousins instead.
Stop dozing in the Siberian tundra and get your DNA checked out.
Stop being dead as a dodo and start making an unexpected comeback.
Stop standing still and start acting like the Ents in Lord of the Rings.
C’mon! Fight back!
Plastic chokes the sea
Stomachs fill with toxic waste
Buy one get one free
(image courtesy of Greenpeace UK)
a sparkle of diamonds float upon the ocean waves
each a reminder of lives lost to the tempests of time
the rolling swelling ubiquitous current of life
calling and beckoning with weeping siren wails
from the hulks of shipwrecked Viking longboats
multi masted clippers steely leviathan tankers
yet still we trust her promises of distant shores and
wonder at what might lie beyond her blue horizons
the shimmering glimmering wavering frontiers
sun kissed storm battered sunset gilded
each flash of light brightens the momentary eye
awareness glimmers in the fractal curve of a glance
snatched seconds break over fatal decisions made as
gaping mouths retch for the last pockets of precious air
a great portent of gushing waters salt brine our tombs
bubbles of hope molecules of flashing faces on
every sparkling diamond reflecting every perished soul
the memories of mankind captured by the tempests of time.
(so I am linking on from my previous poem and developing the theme of drowning using the image of the glinting sun on the surface of the sea – each flash of diamond light representing a lost soul).