He cried with a loud voice: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees – Revelation
They are cutting down the great plane-trees at the end of
For days there has been the grate of the saw, the swish of
the branches as they fall,
The crash of the trunks, the rustle of trodden leaves,
With the ‘Whoops’ and the ‘Whoa’, the loud common talk,
the loud common laughs of the men, above it all.
I remember one evening of a long past Spring
turning in at a gate, getting out of a cart, and finding
a large dead rat in the mud of the drive.
I remember thinking: alive or dead, a rat was a
but at least, in May, that even a rat should be alive.
The week’s work here is as good as done. There is just
on the roped bole, in the fine grey rain,
Green and high
And lonely against the sky.
(Down now! – )
And but for that,
If an old dead rat
did once, for a moment, unmake the Spring, I might never
have thought of him again.
It is not for a moment the Spring is unmade to-day;
These were great trees, it was in them from root to stem:
When the men with the ‘Whoops’ and the ‘Whoas’ have carted
the whole of the whispering loveliness away
Half the Spring, for me, will have gone with them.
It is going now, and my heart has been struck with the
hearts of the planes;
Half my life it has beat with these, in the sun, in the rains,
In the March wind, the May breeze,
In the great gales that came over to them across the roofs from the great seas.
There was only a quiet rain when they were dying;
They must have heard the sparrows flying,
And the small creeping creatures in the earth where they were lying –
But I, all day, I heard an angel crying:
‘Hurt not the trees’
Trusting dark eyes stare out from behind the cage
an expression of insecurity
the human hand persists,
voice soothes as fingers stretch out and repeat
the motions through the small opening.
Minutes later the response is love,
licking the fingers of the hand that saved him,
released him from captivity.
He and eight others are transported
sadness burning in their eyes,
a branding tattoo inside each ear,
The first moment outside captivity is
captured on film.
They have never seen the sun
Or clawed the earth
and when their cages are opened they
have no idea what to do.
Wary of life beyond the metal.
Trusting spirits still intact
with encouragement and time
they wander out to explore the world.
The same world that wrote them
a very different life story.
Poetry in motion, but wanted for potions; we’re a dying breed and I fear it’s too late. The evil ones came, they trapped my brother; their only thought was exterminate! Our body parts have special powers; they’re wanted for healing, or so I am told. I stalk through the jungle in search of a meal, while poachers are prowling and waiting to steal: my whiskers, for toothache, my brain for spots, my bile, for convulsions, my testes, for nodes, my teeth, for rabies, sores and charms. The list is endless my caring friends, It’s time to speak out; support our cause. Stop these bullies; give us sweet peace. Fight for our beauty; protect our land. Help us to cope in a challenging world, Please give us a future; it’s all in your hands.