Thursday, 11 February 2010

nature poem

i reckon its time for the nature poem I threatened with you
earlier even though the monkey evolution piece was of course a nature poem
But I have to say I’ve always struggled with nature poems
And I reckon my progression, my evolution and my development
as a nature poet
stalled on lift off at the age of nine, when,
first poem I ever wrote,
we were told to write a poem for the harvest festival
And within thirty seconds I wrote
The golden glow of the harvest moon
The burning of the stubble…
Which is not bad
but the thing I failed to come up with a decent couplet for it
Something that rhymes with stubble
And thirty five years later I’m still trying to complete my sentence
and this has rather inhibited, debilitated and generally incapacitated
my progression evolution and development as a nature poet
so is this actually a nature poem?
well it has got some birds and some big beasties in it
So this is a poem
this is called
I Know What The Birds Are Singing And I Understand That Look In Their Eye
I know
I’ve looked into their eyes
and I've watched how they move
they’re thinking,
we used to be dinosaurs
we used to be huge
unignorably vast
yet look at our small scrawny bodies
once we were ruled like kings and now,
worms and seed, worms and seed worms and seed,
for yes, I can see them in their million-year cringe,
they’re thinking
yes we can fly,
but then we were dinosaurs
and that,
was something else,
and now, what,
worms and seed, worms and seed
god it’s embarrassing
I’m depressed
my parents were depressed
my children will be depressed
that sparrow? depressed
that eagle? almightily depressed
that paradise bird in that photo?
Once, we roved like lions and now what?
worms and seed, seed and worms worms and seed, seed and worms …
but beware humans
be aware of our fate
now you rule like the lions once ruled
from Spain to China from England to Zululand
but be aware
your age will pass
one day you will be
some shrunken wizened species
one day you will have been
for millions of years
some vole or shrew
and have no future except as some
vole or shrew
so, humans,
you may laugh at us now
but cut down our trees
and poison our air
destroy our earth
as you're destroying it now
and its voles and shrews, voles and shrews
for you forever
for yes,
I can translate the birdsong
I know what the tits are twittering
The crows are cawing
The owls are hooting
The hawks are shrieking
They’re calling
Voles and shrews Voles and shrews Voles and shrews ...
and well,
After that
Do you think you want more evolution?
Which, ahem,
some people might take that as an insult
Go round saying “You want more evolution” in some places and they might just
take it personally
You think we haven’t evolved enough mister?
Whooah, ouch,
But, to be honest,
I’m saving that insult for Mississippi
and personally i could do with more
evolution I’d like an eye in the back of my head
and a brain I can switch off my six months at a time
An extra arm would be good
But where would you put it?
[mime arm from forehead from collar from crotch… with distasteful wiping of fingers]
But seeing I’ve done one poem on evolution
I suppose I might as well do another
I wrote this in a place called khajuraho in north central India
The temples there are very probably the world’s greatest erotic temple art
A thousand pornographic statues of a quality Michelangelo would have been pretty pleased with
But, being British, I didn’t write about that
I wrote about the goldfish in the hotel pool
So this is called
in the hotel pond in khajuraho
the largest goldfish sucks at air at the pool's edge
and tries to lift itself with its fins
as if trying to climb out
as if trying to evolve
but if it succeeds i hope its not too disappointed
it might be like climbing Everest to discover there's a
McDonalds on top...

1 comment:

  1. i'm not british but i'm presently considering evolving a number of poems based on your ideas. fair's fair