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Skylark Dissolving

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Skylark of early dawning light, my song

takes wing over this morning’s meadow

and the fertilised field of fractured U.K. plc.

Fragrant in the alchemy of meadow flowers,

What is my common song composed of now?

Hovering to heights in rings of revolving words

Your landfill mind no longer sings back to me

This beak’s release of poetry gone unheard,

With skim and scurry in the nectaring clovers,

What is my common-song composed of now?

A tractor-operator, headphoned in perspex,

ploughs through nests, egg shells in splinters,

family farm transmuted to agribusiness complex.

The mid-summer air burns up in a diesel reek,

the barley below me writhing with distress,

a casualty bulleted in bursts of scarlet poppy

awaiting the ritual grace of levelling stubble;

Bear witness, a harvest-home cleansing of insects

in a breakfast cereal efficiency of genocide.

In the classy city retreats of cafe-poetry

should I serenade in chirruping ignorance

your children to private, progressive schools?

Or be a blithe chorus of zen-like simplicity

to the carefully manicured jealousies

of your lonely, homely Chelsea garden?

The world below no longer sings back to me;

at the point of the mind’s silence, it’s release,

beetle lines of refugees flee from hedgerows.

murmurous among the hum of insect melodies,

What is my common-song composed of now?

Butterflies harried away from their nettle beds,

cassocked in gold, among summer mead,

bumble bee monks are buried in the tussocks.

In Ragged robin’s fairground, grass commonwealth

What is my common-song composed of now?

Feathered in a twilight of silence dissolving dark,

a burnt spirit, flap against a chemical harvest moon,

the broken twig of an after-life trails from my beak.


1. Skylarks - The UK population of this songbird halved in the 1990’s and is still declining. Between 1972 and 1996, 75% of its habitat was destroyed by modern, intensive farming techniques relying on chemical pesticides. The bird is now on the IUCN Red List. Some sources believe it many become extinct over the next ten years.

2. ‘Ragged Robin’ was once a very common meadow flower in the UK, but it is disappearing fast because of modern cultivation techniques. The plants is believed to have many medicinal qualities. Traditionally it has always been associated with magic.

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