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26 Wild Project - poetry meets conservation. (1 Viewer)

John Cantelo

Well-known member
For those here who combine a love of poetry and verse with an interest in wildlife (particularly in the UK), I recommend looking at the 26 Wild Project (see https://26project.org.uk/26wild/). This is a collaborative project between the writers' group '26 letters' and the UK's Wildlife Trusts. There's much woderful writing there but, for reasons that will be obvious, my favourite has to be the Lament of the white-clawed crayfish (see below) and still more so the clever thought provoking short essay that accompanies it.

Lament of the white-clawed crayfish
Camouflaged, not vanished
I scuttle to the riffle
Where the ripple rolls crisp downstream

To the long-ago dusk.
Claypots drop – plop – beneath Miller’s Bridge and
Copper kettles whistle for the harvest moon.

Your fresh fingers free me
Into the tannin squelch of river mulch.

My crevice calls,

The signal sounds,

I lie low in leaf litter,
Brittle limbs scratching your Father’s line and
Dancing ragged spirals in the wastewater.

A plague runs under Miller’s Bridge.
This carapace forged of old iron
Ruins to rust.

Will you whistle my lament to the harvest moon?
I was camouflaged not vanished.

by Gemma Cantelo

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