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A missed day. Not last I imagine.

One positive is that animals of all kinds seem to be thriving given the withdrawal of humankind from their habitats. A greater range of birds in my garden, including little darting coal tits twitching with electric energy. And a pheasant, at one point joined by two companions. These are the clever pheasants, as far as they can be clever at all. Having watched the slaughter of their companions in Blenheim Park, they decide ‘let’s scarper’, and become semi-urbanised. The birds are bred in fortified enclosures like Russian gulags or concentration camps – wooden huts surrounded by fences of stern metal wire. To protect them from predators. There is an irony here.

One autumn I wrote one of my bits of formatted prose. I do not know enough or have enough skill to write proper poems. I offer this one, without expectations. At least he last line might remind us that slaughters other than viral persist to shame of all of us. Think of Syria.



Walking in the park of autumn,
Leaves of beech copper-gold, 
Rustling dry as old bank notes 
Clinging to the skeletal branches.
A final declamation of their passing display
In the face of dogged evergreens 
Resistant to season and year. 

Unseen shots pump from distant shotguns,
Echoing bluntly across the mirrored lake.
Fluttering pheasants, tender in iridescent glory
Tumble limp and folded from the steel grey sky
Towards the eager jaws of favoured hounds.
Geese graze cropped grass 
Complacent in the slaughter of those who are not of their kind.