Their bodies were found in forests,
in fields, in rivers.
On roads, under windows, behind fireplaces,
in open water butts.
Their horrors were embroidered,
woes collected on their fur, feathers, skin:
Our nest sites vanished.
They bricked them up.
Metal demons in the fields
killed our chicks.
My kin and I were poisoned
by pellets put out for our prey.
We were hunters, keen eyes and talons always ready.
Yet we interfered with their ‘sport’ and became the hunted.
They cut off the pathways.
Forced us towards more dangerous routes.
They ordered a cull again, wished
to trim us down to size. Said we spread disease.
Bullets chased us through the trees.
Our feathers burst free as they struck.
Our mother was driven away by frenzied hounds,
leaving us to starve.
We had so few places to call home. So few.
We were once many. Now we are mere whispers,
morphing, slowly, into legend.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, sport-style fundraisers etc) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.
If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!
[Edit] Here’s an article about how the RSPB are trying to improve farming practices to help wildlife: https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/rspb-news/news/stories/hope-farm/