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.