May Second Place

Our second place entry for this month goes to Peter Kennedy – Congratulations!

This mosaic-tailed rat says farewell – By Peter Kennedy

Gun-happy sailors were a threat

although it was not the jolly jack tars

who pulled the plug on Bramble Cay.

The last straw on my back 

happened far away from where I lived

on Bramble Cay:

trains and boats and planes and cars

and coal-fired power stations

poured out their greenhouse gases –

carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, 

and ozone.  Man-made climate change 

did for me, the mosaic-tailed rat.

Poor little Bramble Cay melomys –

we had been mosaic-tailed for millennia,

in thrall to our antipodean genes.

Then the seas began to rise.

The waters crept into 

our sandy burrows.

The part of our small island

that sat above high tide

began to shrink

and the island’s vegetation 

began to be overwhelmed 

and was destroyed.

So farewell to our habitat

and a goodbye from us,

little mosaic-tailed rats,

extinction time has come for us,

thanks to the impact of anthropogenic 

climate change-driven sea-level rise.

We were the first mammal species

caused to be extinct

by man-made climate change.

A few do care that we are gone,

but many people are unaware

that this is a Herald Event.

And while the peoples of the world

drive their cars, and fly to far 

destinations for their holidays,

and rear livestock to eat,

and benefit from deforestation 

for arable land, pasture, and logging,

the creatures of the world have begun,

soundlessly and for ever,

to leave you.

Who is concerned for the Iberian lynx,

the Yangtze river dolphin,

or the common carp?

Or for the grasshopper,

the honey bee,

or for every other insect?

One day, one day,

one man, one woman, or one child 

will be the last human person alive.

After that last person?

The song of the sea

and the sound of the wind upon the sand.

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