from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Lost Species poem 1: Kathleen Jones

On November 30, Remembrance Day for Lost Species, I put out a small call on facebook for poems relating to this subject, and have widened the brief to include persecuted or disappearing species.

I've a few now; they'll appear during this month.

Kathleen Jones was the first respondent. Here's her poignant poem, written especially:

Three Species an Hour

Already, as I write this, another one is gone –
a yellow tree-frog, in the deep throat
of an Amazonian orchid, the small corpse,
the size of my finger-nail, perhaps,
floating on a micro-lake of sweet rain.

And then, while I make coffee,
a coral polyp on a shallow Pacific reef,
silently sheds it algae. An unknown
species, dying unrecorded in a warming sea.

Now, it is only a matter of watching
the clock, counting down how long
it takes, in universal time, to get from
an unspectacular beetle, now thrashing

its legs for the last time, unobserved, on
the forest floor, to us; the apex of a pyramid
that rests on biological foundation blocks
we are removing, one by one by one.

© Kathleen Jones


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