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...
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
Wading through Alaskan torrents?
Butter-fingered paws mauling, gory fish
Flailing with futile energy.
Lemurs I love:
Sinuous sifaka dancing
Miniscule mouse lemurs,
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
I've watched them leave their burrows at sunrise
To bask in the Kalahari desert.
Please don't give them names
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
Last week I watched a wood mouse
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,