Early March – a morning dog-walk
and a good one: weather perfect,
crocussed, snowdropped, bright with promise...
Heading home on auto-pilot
when, from nowhere, I'm aware of
it – an unfamiliar cadence
dancing at my ear.
I've no chance identifying
anything beyond the easy
stuff – but this? I'm sure I've never
heard its like before:
repetitive yet blithely tuneful
– there it is again! – that same brief,
jaunty, upward-swept glissando,
signed off with a trill.
Fifty yards to go and still it's
with me – louder now, I'd swear, and
nearer: sweet, insistent, clear
above the trunk-road din.
What's brought this wonder here? – this stranger,
skies apart from everything
its alien eye might comprehend?
Freak winds? ...or something worse?
That's it alright, poor thing: a refugee
and omen of catastrophe,
lost in a desperate search
for water / shelter / food...
evidence, if any such
were needed, that the planet's fucked
beyond all hope. And we're to blame.
Repent. The End Is Nigh.
At my gate, they overtake me:
headphoned, head-down, texting, teenage
parents with a third-hand pram,
one wheel in need of oil.
If you have any thoughts on this poem,
Ken Cumberlidge would be
pleased to hear them.