Day 09 – have trade will travel

ESY-032331823 - © - jc_cards

There’s more verses half written for this poem, but I couldn’t work out where they should go. This is a WIP.


Homo economicus

for over 40 years free trade has been touted
as the solution to all social & economic ailments
— trade is really code for countless uninvited invaders

the Chinese went to Africa for sorghum
brought back camels then used them to establish
one of the greatest invader routes ever — The Silk Road

Columbus traded (if that can be the term)
European disease for New World gold — yet
smallpox, measles & tb killed more than sword or gun

hitchhikers today hijack the best transporters
money can buy — shipping containers which daily import
thousands of animals, insects, microbes & diseases to ecologies

ill-equipped to deal with them — because profit is paramount
& preventing illegal human immigrants is far more pressing

Day 08 – recipe for mourning


I’ve been saving this idea for a day when I was low on energy & creative juices. Sadly I was hoping it would be a little later in the month. That said, it’s tough churning out a poem a day even when 100% healthy: to do so while ill is an added challenge.

It’s definitely an unusual “poem” … a cross between a recipe & a list poem … with, I hope, an unexpected sting in the tail.

recipe for tuna mournay

Part 1:

1. Fish
anchovy, barracuda, grouper, flying fish,
cod, common sea horse, king mackerel,
Spanish mackerel, common sea bream, 
white marlin, grey triggerfish,
blue runner, rainbow runner,
black gemfish, bluefish, red drum,
greater amberjack, black ruff, yellowtail,
named for other things
sailfish, swordfish, lancet fish, puffer fish,
goosefish, porcupine fish, monkfish,
sunfish, pilotfish, dolphin fish, needlefish,
spurdog fish, Cuban dogfish,
longbill spearfish, bigeye cigarfish, stone bass,
Bermuda chub, opah, escolar,
leerfish, tripletail, Murray eel,
pomfret, bigeye thresher, wahoo,
bonito, cassava fish, spotted skate,
manta ray, devil ray, 
bignose, hammerhead, Galapagos,
sandbar, night, sand tiger,
copper, blue, (great) white, mako

2. Reptiles
loggerhead,  leatherback,
green, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley 

3. Mammals
northern right, pilot, humpback,
beaked, goose-beaked, killer,
sperm, minke, sei, fin,
common, striped, spinner,
Atlantic spotted, bottlenose,
harbor porpoise, 

4. Birds
Atlantic yellow-nosed, black-browed,
northern royal, shy,
yellow-legged, great black-backed,
herring, laughing, Audouin’s,
balearic, great, sooty, Yelkouan,
great-winged, grey, southern fulmar, 

Part 2:

this is
a not-so-quick list
of some of the 145 species
regularly killed & discarded
while “fishing” for tuna
charmingly known
as by-catch

*List taken from Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals

Day 07 – the obsession that’s eating our planet

07 Doutielt3

One of the things I hope to do over this month is come at the theme PANDEMIC from a range of angles. Looking at, if possible, a little like a cubist Picasso painting where we can look at all sides of the subject at once. It’s still a bit stat heavy but this poem really is about the big elephant in the room. (Not it’s not really an elephant.)


plague species 

a mere ten millennia ago when we first
trick tamed cattle from wild aurochs
humans & those critters that would become
our domestic buddies (cows, chickens, pigs, sheep)
represented around 1% of earth’s biomass
wild animals (using the most basic maths)
represented 99% of all living creatures.

now humans & the beasts we own as pets
property or product are somewhere
between 96-98% depending on the study cited.
basically earth has been stolen from free-living
animals for those species we most love to pat
but even more so for those we lust to eat.
the plague has spread — & continues to …