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Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Liben Lark

I'm sending it
a Good Luck card:
"Hope you make it
Liben Lark!"
C/O
(though little care
is being shown)
The Liben Plain,
East Africa.
Alternative address:
nowhere.

At first I thought:
a Get Well card,
but thought again:
the lark's not ill,
just being ousted
from its home,
the Liben Plain,
a tiny square
of grassland, man
has found no way
so far, to share.

It's part of history
(almost); the die
is all but cast.
You will not miss it,
nor shall I.
Yesterday
I read of it,
the day before,
was ignorant;
tomorrow:
far too late.

A scraggy thing
with voice of gold,
it needs its tiny
square of grass,
but so does man.
There's water there
and fertile land,
so we erode it
as the sea
erodes the shore:
remorselessly.

I'd send a card
With Sympathy
if there was
somewhere
it could go,
a mourner
to be comforted.
The loss is ours
and Earth's, of course.
A first, this is, for Africa,
but not, I fear, its last.

7 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

Nice piece, Dave. One of thousands of endagered species, alas.

Crafty Green Poet said...

yes, I hadn't heard of the Liben lark til very recently, it's heartening to see the work being done to preserve its habitat at last, but too easy to suspect it might be too little too late.

Sailor said...

Nice work!

Dave King said...

Leatherdykeuk
Alas, yes, 'tis true.

Crafty Green Poet
Yes, as one commenter has described it, it's a bit like sticking a very small finger in a very big dyke.

Sailor
Thanks

Jim Murdoch said...

A nice way of highlighting the problem, Dave. When we were young it seemed like the only thing we’d actually managed to exterminate was the dodo although the buffalo was on shaky ground. Now scientists estimate that between 150 and 200 species of life become extinct every 24 hours. Okay there are about 100 million species which means we’re good for about 1500 years assuming the rate doesn’t accelerate. So no need to worry about the Liben Lark, eh? It’s not even listed on Wikipedia’s ‘Lark’ page. Maybe it’s vanished already and someone’s been ultra vigilant in doing their updating.

Gerry Snape said...

Good old Simon Barnes...he brings my attention to so many things that are going the way of all flesh.... unnecessarily.

Dave King said...

Jim
Thanks for that. I have to be careful here, Doreen's nickname used to be "dodo". I'm not sure how or why she acquired it, but it isn't used much now. My late dad used to use it a lot.

I think you'll find our bird on Wikipedia under Liben Lark. There are certainly a lot of entries in Google under it.

Gerry
yes, I get quite a lot from him.