Public Transport

I take the bus to work each day –
Prefer it to the tube
I get to see the surface
Though the people are just as rude

It gives me some hint to the seasons
Not something you see much in town
And if I reach the stop early
There’s even a chance I’ll sit down

It really doesn’t bother me
That transport is half the speed
Our day’s the same length anyhow
And this way I get to read

The faces of my fellows
This aptly named human race
Who zoom in private vehicles
Not seeing the world they face

Endangered Species

There’s a man in my office
Who’s saving the whales –
One tin can at a time.

It goes back to childhood’s
Conservative craze
When he knew snails were more than just slime.

A sensitive boy scout
And always prepared
He’d tell you what tigers remained.

Not overly social,
But gosh, how he cared
Desperate all must endure unchanged.

Through his hormonal years
While his peers were all pairing
Ensuring Man stayed off the list;

He was fasting for turtles
While classmates kept staring
Too busy by far to be kissed.

When he took his first paycheck
Back home to his mum
Her delight at his fortune fell flat

He announced his intention
To keep his old room
And to spend it protecting the bat.

He has hundreds of coupons
From cereal boxes
An album with stickers galore

Saves ham from his lunchbox
To feed to the foxes
And nags me to recycle more

But though he is frequently
Smug and annoying
We all do our best to keep calm;

For somehow we feel
Though the whole thing gets boring
The planet appreciates John.

When he went round the local
Recycling plant
It was feared he would not be the same

For the sight of machinery
Making its mark
Only spurred him to heighten his game.

The ice caps’ diffusion
In over-fished seas
Left him feeling for what seals were left

Such emotions, confusion
Brought him to his knees
‘Til unable to speak, eat or rest

He was forced to relax
Under medical orders
To stop writing to his MP

And was sent to recuperate
Far from our borders
With sun, sand and sea therapy

He moaned through the flight
With the stewardess fussing
He just couldn’t bear to give in

Such terrible guilt
Carbon footprint increasing
He wanted to scream at the sin

Now back at his desk
We are careful to tiptoe
Each time we recycle a can

For the breakdown he had
Caused his temper to flip though
Our John’s now a shell of a man.

I worry his type
Now seems harder to find
As I watch the poor guy stumble past.

It’s a shame the ecologist’s
Losing his mind
For I fear this one may be the last.

Eden

The first time we went hungry
Early in the morning
We dared ourselves to do it
Anticipating anger
We crept downstairs
And unlocked the back door
Standing on a chair to reach
Our guilty secret
Forbidden knowledge buzzing
In our childish brains
My sister was always the first to find
Where mum kept the key
Grumbles of rumbling tummies
Drove us over the dew
Chilly on our bare feet
Toward the wall
Where brambles grew
But all we found there to feed on
Were thorns
We searched in the pot
Which in summer held strawberries
Stepping carefully to keep
From squashing the snails
On their slimy journeys
But though the eggy flowers
With their yellow-white faces
Nodded at our eager fingers
Their greeting bore no fruit
Next year, I said to my sister
I shall plant a carrot tree
Planning our menu
We rummaged in the greenhouse
For something to snack on
Old sunflower seeds
Dandelion leaves from the lawn
But the rabbit had been there before us
And climb as we might
Even the sour cherry tree from next-door
Had buried all of its fruit in the ground
Hoping for an early spring
Until our secret garden
Was ashamed to see
Its children shiver
In the empty-bellied dawn