A poem by: Ben Dunk.  1978




Oh! for the wild trill of the linnet,

Oh! for the mad flight of the jay,

Oh! for the skip-run of the rabbit,

they have disappeared today?


Show me once more the song thrush,

         throwing his song to the sky,

Show me the spoor of a pheasant,

         dragging his tail through the snow,

Show me stripped bark by the roe deer,

         eaten when frost winds do blow.

There’s nothing left by the fly.


I roamed the downs to find plovers-

        nests with four eggs in colours.

I roamed the marsh to find moorhens,

        croaking so gay midst the reeds

I roamed the stream bank for otters,

        the water was all foam and stank,

We have only ourselves to thank.


I looked and could not see sea gulls,

       on water nor in the sky.

I looked and couldn’t see fishes,

       darting around in the brine.

I looked for cows in the meadows,

       but they could not stand the clime.

We’re nearing the end of our time.


Where is the smell of a rose bud,

      holding the morning dew.

Where is the smell of a farmyard,

      now they have destroyed the ley.

Where is the smell of raindrops,

      without the constituent smoke.

Save us from this nightmare day!


NB: When an accomplished person or persons

are available, introduce as an accompaniment to the poem,

human-voice imitations of animal

and bird’s sounds..