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.
Thursday, 19 January 2017
Lost Species poem 18: Jennie Osborne
Barn owls are an endangered species in GB now (though conservation efforts are paying off): partly because of loss of habitat, and therefore prey, and loss of nesting sites, and partly because of the pesticides sprayed and poison put down to kill their prey, voles, mice, rats.
I've the frequent privilege of watching one of the local pair quartering the scrubby (organically-farmed/agroforestry) field opposite us on summery evenings, or perched on a fence post, rising elegantly and featherlight as I approach.
First to Blink
And on the rain-slick road in front of me
white-staring staring me down
daring me down not moving
luminous in the moment in the car headlight
taking me in
taking my lethal metal jacket in
and not moving facing me down
claw gripping carcase
pinning me down
till I blink brake swerve
into the risk of oncoming
lifts upward like a leaf
letting go of gravity
curd of mist
of white ash
dissolving to night to drizzle
blurring to peripheral
letting me run
leaving me smeared
furred and bloody
on the road
© Jennie Osborne
This poem comes from Jennie Osborne's Colouring Outside the Lines, Oversteps Books, 2015. It also won the 2015 Kent and Sussex Poetry Competition.
- a perspective: figures on US deaths
- Lost Species poem-plus 20: Kenneth Steven
- Lost Species poem 19: Geoffrey Leggett
- Lost Species poem 18: Jennie Osborne
- Lost Species poem 17: Elizabeth Rimmer
- from the Ragbag, January 13th
- Lost Species poem 16: Shirley Wright
- Lost Species poem 15: Roselle Angwin
- Lost Species poem 14: Susan Richardson
- Lost Species poem 13: Chris Waters
- Lost Species poem 12: Mandy Pannett
- Lost Species poem 11: Fiona Owen
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