The Trees are Down by Charlotte Mew

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
the gardens.
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
god-forsaken thing,
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
one bough
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’


At the Hands of Humans by Nina Lewis

Trusting dark eyes stare out from behind the cage

an expression of insecurity

sorrowful mistrust,

Head bowed,

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,

A number.

An item.

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.


Give Us Sweet Peace. A Tiger’s Plea by Janet Jenkins

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.



Upon hearing of the death of the Monarch of the Moorlands by Rangzeb Hussain

These mist covered mountains of the highlands,

‘twas here that I once freely wandered upon natures pasture grounds,

Now I lie shrouded in the mournful fog of the lowlands,

‘twas here that I was met by a pack of bone breaking hounds.

The fresh dew upon the harvest of autumn’s final flowering,

‘twas here that I chewed the grass of sweet nature’s offering,

Now I grow cold upon the ground where I was stalked by dark doom,

‘twas here that I left life’s rocky way under a hunter’s moon.

The air of the early morn moor with the sky above my dome,

‘twas here that I ran and with joy loved and royally roamed,

Now my legs will nevermore click or clack over my domain fenced with tree gates,

‘twas here that I wooed and won my shy majestic mate.

She, my queen of the green woodlands, she was my wife and my empire,

‘twas here that we romanced in the fading summer’s fire,

Our charming child, my princess of these grassy hills now cloaked in shade,

‘twas here that she saw her father the monarch in death finally fade.

In the chorus of the dancing dawn awakening upon the horizon’s golden rhyme,

‘twas here that I sang the tune that will drum till the end of nature’s time,

They will come with stakes and wood and cross and bow me to the beams,

‘twas here where they hacked and tore off my enchanted crown of weeping dreams.

The scent of the freshly mown grass mingles with the green pine,

‘twas here that I drank the perfume and nectar of the divine,

My eyes glaze, my breathing falters, my clay chills, my soul no more sings,

‘twas here that I finally returned to the hands of my Beloved, the eternal King.

“…I shall now graze upon the sacred acres of my Creator,

I shall frolic and run free in the tender fields of endless splendour…”

The largest animal in Great Britain, a red stag named Emperor who stood over 9ft tall, was shot dead by a trophy hunter. The antlers of the majestic deer are highly prized, and after pictures of the stag appeared in the national press, the animal was tracked and killed in Exmoor, Devon.



Muffled Drum by Caroline Gill



then the throb of pulse on stone:

stifled pangs vibrate through bars.

Pacing paws go round and round:

echoes come but no one stirs.

Jet and amber flying lizards

and their wings above the cell:

how they love their music-making,

stringing notes from wall to wall.


Midnight shadows chase the moon,

brand a stave with stripes of ink.

Muffled drum-beats sound in vain:

quavers pelt a dappled flank.

Stars retreat while ticking rhythms

rise from song sheets for the dawn.

Lizards fill their scales with freedom

while a tiger hunkers down.


Warmth by Chris Fewings

I take the perfect white-furred skin
and nail it to my wall, paw by paw.
Opposite, an exploration map stretched tight,
flags marking our advance.

The last bear in the wild. Still,
the DNA is bottled, and we’ve paid Saami
to manage a safari park. Who knows?
They might return.

Ice. It got in the way. The world needs oil.
I do my job. The economy is growing.
They say the globe is warming.
Nothing’s proven.

I shot her myself. Put her out of her misery.
Greenpeace wanted to keep her on her floe,
starving, for publicity. A colleague adopted the cub.
We care.

Girlfriend wanted her for a coat.
I got her a seal instead.
I wanted to keep a reminder of Eden
here in the field.

They’re amazing, the Northern Lights



There’s No Leopard Like Snow Leopard by Giovanni ‘SPOZ’ Esposito

When I was five,

A while ago,

A man on the telly said

“Snow… leopard in jeopardy”

I said “Mom can I go…?

To jeopardy, to see the snow leopard-y?”

“No” said Mom “You’ve misunderstood

In jeopardy means ‘danger’,

It doesn’t sound good

For the snow leopard- in jeopardy.”

“But why’s he in danger?

Is he crossing the road?

Hasn’t he learnt to do the green cross code?

He needs his own crossing,

Like a zebra or pelican,

We need to tell people,

Like the man on the telly can.”

“No dear,” said Mom “it’s a bit worse than that,

The future looks bleak for the big snowy cat.

It’s out of our hands.

There’s not much we can do.”

But now you know

And I know

That just isn’t true.

Sometimes moms will say things

To keep us kids at bay.

Snow leopard-y in jeopardy?

We can change that today.