Sunday, August 17, 2008

A poem by me mum.


From Studley to Cambridge, flat as far as the eye can see

In the July sunshine ploughed fields like a black velvet sheet.

Mauve and white potatoes , barley, wheat, fat hen in the beet.

Where is space for the wildflower, food for the bird and the bee?

A picnic at the road side, bathed in sticky sweet pesticide,

choking with streaming eyes as the giant machine roars by.

No more DDT, but the poisoned fields still feed you and me.

Rachel Carson with Silent Spring led the way, she had her say

Surreal green rye grass, creeping death to the meadow and wood,

and death to the riotious flowery hedges of my childhood.

Gardens weedkilled, paved and decked, wildlife severely checked

Carnivorous pets stalk our gardens, full of well fed energy

Bird alarm calls mistaken for songs joyous and free

Nestlings die before they learn to fly

On one day we filled in the forms for the RSPB

to let them know how many birds we could see.

The RSPB founded so long ago, by those with vision to see

birds are better wild and free in bush and tree

The caged song birds in the market place, those old ways ,

On mantelpieces dusty glass domes, those dead glass eyes, those old days

Stuffed birds and handsome feathers decorating hats ,

lifted in the breeze as fashionable women strutted with men in spats

Across oceans in Australia they studied and found ,

The more dogs around the less birds and wildlife abound

especially those which live near the ground

The carnivorous smells, noise and stress, wildlife sixty percent less.

A massacre around the warm Mediterrean sea

The crack and spit of guns clean the sky

of everything that can fly

a hoopoe glimpsed in a fig tree,

the soaring honey buzzard in the hot blue sky

only minutes, at most a few hours before they die.

The children in the schools care with graffitti on the bus shelter they cry

“It's your world in which we grow and we shall grow to hate you”

The birds don't belong to you. They are our birds too.

Say younger generations and other nations.

Thalia Campbell - August 2008

In hommage to Gertrude M. Goldsmith & Florence Rainford who opened my eyes.