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

Monday 9 January 2017

Lost Species poem 14: Susan Richardson

Today's poem is from Susan Richardson, poetry editor of Zoomorphic, the online literary magazine that features writing in celebration and defence of animals. You can read more about Susan's extensive residencies and her writing at


Here, all animals are equal,

equal in extinction.

The Moa, long ago

an is-no-more, dozes

with the Golden Toad;

the Aurochs shoulders

the load of the Great Auk.

The Quagga logs 

all recent arrivals –

the Western Black Rhino,

shorn of her horn,

Lonesome George crawling 

from the island of himself,

the Spix's Macaw clawing

at reports

of captive survivors.

The Pyrenean Ibex

takes vertiginous bets

on who's next –

the Caspian Tiger's

wild striped guess says

 the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth's


 himself, racing past 

the red edge

of his mangroves, 

while dead glaciers wait

for the kiss 

of the Snow Leopard's tread.

And look, here's 

the Common Skate,

swimming against 

the tide of her name,

cartilaginous kite 

snarled in infinite


© Susan Richardson

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