Monthly Archives: April 2019

The End

Twenty-Nine lifeforms described to the ether –
Are they gone already, or are they still there?
Out in the wild, the ocean, the ice
Suffering due to humanity’s vice.
Why should humanity wonder
On ways to prevent non-humanity to suffer?
To sit in deep warmth snug in a house
Why care about the Alabama Beach Mouse?

I’ll tell you this – how can we ask them?
How can we sit and shout and type
“You can’t wear the fur coat – it just isn’t right?”
How can we tell these people their lives?
Stop the poachers with their guns and their knives?

Why should they care about animals rare?
As they sit in the dirt without water or air –
The people I mean. Shut out on the street.
With threadbare shirts and nothing on their feet.
There is no desire to save otherkind
When your own people pay you no mind.

Humanity is stocked from pole to pole
And we’ve filled the air with oil and coal,
But we need to fill bellies and we need to fill brains
And work to release mankind from the chains
Of centuries of others controlling the roads
Of upward mobility – instead we’ve set loads
Upon loads of struggle and debt and treatment unfair-
So how can you ask “mind the polar bears there?”
Until we work to undoom our own species
No one will care. That is my thesis.

I remember the Lorax who spoke for the trees –
And Adams, and Adams, and Margaret Mead
Who spoke of nature and creatures and fought for all we
Who were willing to stand up and fight.
Fight for less fortunate, fight for what’s right.

There needn’t be battles, but an army we need
To dismiss the shackles and help people be freed.
Through this effort of providing our brothers enough
The animals, plants, the others will rise up.

Help the planet, help the people, help all of the life
To live it as much as one can without strife.

What a month! Yes, a treatise to end it on. A poem a day. A realization I did have writing – many people do not care about endangered species. And, indeed, why would they? The very people who hunt the gorilla are often doing so because they need to eat. People poach horns and ivory for the lucrative trade – but they, too, need to eat.

So, it comes as no surprise, that I would entreat us all to care and help and protect the natural world. But people, too, need protection and aid. And by helping them to rise up, we increase our ability to help nature.

Thank you for reading my poems this month.


A bird so heavy it stays on the ground
Nudging the brush for any nuts around.
It isn’t too heavy – it still can climb trees,
But you’ll never see on in the sky free.

It’s favorite food is the rimu nut
Which gives it energy to breed, but
The tree only offers this every four years.
The bird is far older than it appears.

A kakapo can live to be ninety-five
Longer than some of us have been alive.
It’s a nocturnal avian with whiskers to find
It’s way through the forest in the dark and blind.

In New Zealand fair it makes its home
Upon the forest floor it walks and roams.
A bird so heavy it stays on the ground
Weighing, as a parrot, to almost nine pounds.

The Kakapo is a fat parrot that can’t fly, which is very interesting. It is also called the “owl parrot” by people smarter than me. This bird is heavy, it climbs trees, it has sensory whiskers on its face. During the great harvest of the rimu tree it gains the energy to mate, in which courts and battles take place.

It is an absolutely fascinating bird! Also, there is a BBC documentary with a segment about it featuring Benedict Cumberbatch narrating, so that’s pretty cool.


They stalk quietly, not to avenge
Though, to some humanity, they could justify revenge.
Their interest, instead, lay toward their prey –
A hare, dear, stork – a little mouse grey.
It may stumble upon a reptilian battle
An alligator find could be its death rattle.
But, if removed from a space where it swims,
The panther, instead, will be one who wins.
The rate of dismissal now thankfully slowed
Though many undone by the busiest roads.
A life in Florida can be terrible harsh
When daring to exit the motherland marsh.
As others, their existence carries a sad metric
They lack past generations diverse genetics.

The Florida Panther is a subspecies of puma, cougar, mountain lion – the large cat that haunts the Ozarks and fur trapping young men. Endemic, naturally, to Florida. It’s population has seen a slight rebound from the teen-twenties to the low hundreds. As in, 120 in the wild. It suffers from hunting, habitat loss, and environmental poisonings. Also feline leukemia. And roads. It gets struck quite a bit crossing the road.

It is the only mountain lion in the Eastern United States, though sightings come out every so often in northern states. I had a college friend who swears he saw one crossing the road.

If you find a cougar in the wild, you are supposed to use your coat to look larger than normal to scare it away. Take your chances.

Nubian Giraffe

The Giraffe is a Genius!
Oh wait I meant genus-
Perhaps they are better at spelling.

You’d feel strongly jubilant
If you spied a Nubian
In the wild, where they’re no longer dwelling.

But in some places it lives
In these places it gives
Tourists a view quite compelling.

These camelopardalis
As a specimen is flawless
With a male median lump known for swelling.

It’s neck and its spots
Gives it space so it ought
To be safe from a predators felling.

The Nubian Giraffe is the nominative subscies of giraffe. But instead of Giraffe Giraffe it is Giraffe camelopardalis camelopardalis. Which is hard to rhyme!

Unfortunately, the story is the same as for 26 other species. Poachers and habitat loss due to humans. You know, I am starting to think humans might not be very kind to animals!

Brazilian GuitarFish

Out to fish
Many fish
Guitar Fish

You cannot play it.
But what fun to say it.
It looks like a skate.
Also similar in weight.

Say! This fish is not doing so great!

The females get catched
Before eggs lay or hatch.
None are sad
And none are glad
But all are doing bad.

If your health and wealth
Bring you to the continental shelf
See the surf swish and make a wish
For the Brazilian Guitar Fish.


Gorilla of the Mount

A subspecies, alike other in dignity
In fair Africa, found upon the mountains.
It bears no grudges within its own family
And hides should skies unleash a fountain.

Silverbacks do fight and come to blows
Exerting wounds with sharp canine teeth.
But, at social time, let the youngest doze
As they groom fur for insects hidden beneath.

Mountain Gorillas are down to the last thousand or so. Found in a small range of Africa, they are suffering from interbreeding, poachers, habitat loss, etc. These are gentle, shy creatures with the strength to remove our arms from our bodies. 

Conservation efforts ARE working, thankfully. But this is still a critically endangered animal out there in the wild.



Woodpeckers with ivory bills
Tapped trees in the southerly hills
But a sighting is rare
We aren’t sure it’s there –
It would give avid birders a chill!

It projects a long tongue from its mouth
And eats too many insects to count
As it drills into the trees
Making holes with great ease
A hammer once heard ’round the south.

The bird has a look indistinct
(The Pileated’s visage is linked)
But if one is astute
There is no dispute
For one is fine, the other likely extinct.

The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is thought to still be alive in the wild. Many sightings are reported, but no true proof. Even if these sightings are live specimens of the southern US, it is likely they are the last. This woodpecker is (was) the largest in North America – a mighty hammer across trees of the South.

Like all (most?) woodpeckers, it uses its tough bill to find bugs inside trees. It’s long tongue wraps around its skull when not in use. It has a strong resemblance to the northern Pileated, but it is not too hard to tell them apart given the Ivory-Billed’s striking dark feathers.


In Andrah Pradesh, way up in a tree
And arachnid lives wild and free.
I’ll tell you the tale, and tell you its true –
The spider in question is a bright sapphire blue.

It’s a tarantula, so try to avoid its bite
It causes intense pain – you won’t have to die.
No one on record has felt it’s fangs.
But be careful if you use bare hands.

It walks those trees with bright blue fur
Only in India does it ever occur.
It can be grown in captivity
For it has a brisk pet-activity.

The “Poecilothera metalicca” is a tarantula that is bright blue! Avoiding a golden opportunity, because I don’t listen to them, this poem is a play on “Long Black Veil” by Johnny Cash.

The tarantula in question lives in trees in Andhra Pradesh in central India. It grows in a 100 sq km range in the forest, which is slowly shrinking due to timber concerns. This is an interesting fact about many endangered species – they have a specific niche, and there they stay.


Attenborough’s Pitcher Plant


Sir Attenborough’s Pitcher Plant a quaint picture indeed.
This Mount Victoria pitcher patch is where these pitchers feed.

A pitcher plant’s a pitcher filled with a liquid condition
For animals to drown inside and provide the plant nutrition.

Sir Attenborough’s Pitcher Plant’s pitcher serves dual function
By housing insect larva in a layer of liquid in conjunction
With the bottoms layer The larvae swim and provide detritus
As they grow and eat close to the brim preventing plant gastritis.

It feeds mostly upon small examples of arthropods,
But not limited to insecta, on occasion the small odd
Vertebrate will fall inside, to be digested by this goo
A little mouse, a vole perhaps, sometimes a furry shrew.

Could a pitcher plant grow large enough to digest a man?
Maybe not entirely, but I suggest we be careful with our hands.

Named in honor of Sir David Attenborough, it is one of 15 species named in his honor. Pitcher Plants are fascinating successes in passivity as they wait for flies to fall inside their pitchers. Yes, this plant has two layers of liquid in it’s pitcher. Larva swim in the top layer and their droppings serve to provide nutrition as larger insects are digested by the thicker liquid in the bottom.

Attenborough’s Pitcher Plant in particular has had remains of rodents found within it. It is the second largest pitcher plant. It is endangered mainly due to its small native range, but also poachers. 

Today is also Earth Day – a special planet to all of us. 

Sir Attenborough’s magnum opus is called the Life on Earth.
Not bad for a young man from unassuming Isleworth.
He’s known for his distinctive voice and his love of the Earth
Particularly the animals, and describing their natural worth.
Sir David’s also a champion of the BBC Networks
Whom has provided funding for his fabulous television works.
For all things natural, it’s true, this man is a bold fighter
And in my opinion, his presence here, has made the world much brighter.

Easter Sunday

Easter Eggs

If you travel Fringed Hill in New Zealand fair
Take care for fragile eggs grow there.
They are not laid, or set or placed.
They grew from mycological lace.
It runs ‘neath the ground, in threads microscopic
Until its fruiting body becomes periscopic
Popping out of the ground brown and round till it shows
A pale white center near the base of your toes.
This fungus amongus is considerably rare,
Found only on Fringed Hill in New Zealand fair.

Volcano Rabbit

On the high slopes of four Volcanoes
In the mountainous mountains of Mexico
A rabbit, almost the smallest of all,
Hides in the forest to grow.

Like most lagomorphs, it is eats mostly plants
But may gain some protein from a snack of small ants.
As it dines and drinks during the twilight
Heading to bed before it’s darkest night.

These diminutive bunnies hide in the Zacaton
Away from the predators seeking to snack on
The Volcano Rabbit. And of course there is man
Who used to make farmland as fast as it can.

But, despite a habitat split into fractions,
There have been good people taking good actions
To preserve this example of genetic diversity
And to help it overcome it’s eco-adversity.

Eggs and Rabbits are inexplicably linked with the Easter Holiday – an example that synergy and branding are very old concepts indeed. Fischer’s Eggs are egg-like fungus growing in New Zealand. It is a surprise to many that, yes, even mushrooms can be endangered. Though, fungus and bacteria possess incredible genetic diversity with new species discovered in differing teaspoons of forest soil!

The Volcano Rabbit has a heavy metal name, but would likely die if placed in a mosh pit. It is larger than only the pygmy rabbit in the world of rabbits, closely resembling a pika. Which is an animal that looks a lot like a rabbit, but isn’t one. It lives in Mexico on Four Volcanoes. Most of its troubles are a loss of habitat due to humanity. So, you know, humans are the worst.

Happy Easter! Otherwise, Happy Sunday!