The Nature Bible


Thoughts · Daily Post

Poetry responding to Climate Change




'Ark' by Simon Armitage


'They sent out a dove

It wobbled home, wings slicked in a rainbow of oil

A sprig of tinsel snagged in its beak

A yard of fishing line binding its feet

Bring back, bring back the leaf

They sent out an arctic fox

It plodded the bays of the Northern fringe

in muddy socks and a nylon cape.

Bring back, bring back the leaf

Bring back the reed and the reef

set the ice sheet back on its frozen plinth,

tuck the restless water course into its bed,

sit the glacier down on its highland throne,

put the snow-cap back on the mountain peak.


Let the Northern lights be the Northern lights

not the alien glow over Glasgow or Leeds.

A camel capsized in a tropical flood.

Caimans dozed in Antarctic lakes.

Polymers rolled in the sturgeon's blood.

Hippos wandered the housing estates.

Bring back, bring back the leaf.

Bring back the tusk and the horn unshorn.

Bring back the fern, the fish, the frond and the fowl,

the golden toad and the pygmy owl.

revisit the scene where swallowtails fly

through acres of unexhausted sky

They sent out a boat

Go little breaker,

splinter the pack- ice and flows,

nose through the rafts and pads of wrappers

and bottles and nurdles and cans,

the bergs and atolls and islands and states

of plastic bags and micro beads

and the forests of smoke.

Bring back, bring back the leaf,

bring back the river and sea.'