Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow and more snow. It's a hard and hungry time to be wild unless you're hibernating. If I didn't have four cats I'd be scattering food in the garden for birds and mice. In the meantime, since it's too bleak to go out and watch the wildlife, I'll share a poem I wrote before xmas while recovering from a cold. Hope it strikes a chord...

Wildlife spectaculars

Not the bloody wildebeest migration
We know the crocodiles lie in wait:
We've seen the bone crushing
Splash of jaws.

Or is it the salmon-hungry
Grizzly bears
Wading through Alaskan torrents?
Butter-fingered paws mauling, gory fish
Flailing with futile energy.

Lemurs I love:
Sinuous sifaka dancing
Miniscule mouse lemurs,
Impossible primates:
Tiny hands, big, searching eyes.

But it's always the ring-tails,
Strutting their stripey charisma.
You'd think Madagascar
Had a plague of them.

Most of all I mind
The meerkats.
I've watched them leave their burrows at sunrise
To bask in the Kalahari desert.
Please don't give them names
Like Zaphod
And cast them in a furry soap opera.

Those clever capuchins in Brazil
Have got themselves a good agent.
Three times at least this year
They've been seen on TV,
Since their tool-using, nut-cracking antics
Were discovered.

Last week I watched a wood mouse
Watching us
From a bank of bronzy beech leaves.
Sleek, twitching, alert,
Apple-pip eyes, nimble hands and ears tracking our voices.
We had disturbed it and it looked at us,

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