The Change

yellow and black butterflies cocoon
Photo by Pixabay on


The Change

Caterpillars metamorph, from juvenile to butterfly,
And maggots turn to ants and wasps and beetles, by and by,
And tadpoles can be newts and salamanders, toads and frogs
But when it comes to mammals, well,
There’s little change of which to tell,
For puppies only ever get to grow up into dogs.
But you know, that’s not quite true – we’re changing too,
Though the other way round:
See, larvae are more evolved than their parents –
Their bodies the new kids in town.
But we, you and me, start out as a fish
With proto-gills and a tail to swish
In a primordial sea of warm –
Then it’s time to move, to shed our skin,
And let our reptile-selves begin:
Engage, evolve, transform !
It’s time to metamorphosise,
We mongrel robots in disguise,
From instar into more-bizarre,
Our restless genes must shift and swarm
And take this blood-cold world by storm
By becoming the mammals, the furry mammals we are !
But don’t stop now, the urge ain’t gone –
I don’t know what’s next, but I feel it coming on…



Plenty to Crow About



Plenty to Crow About

I wonder why crows are never a pet ?
They’re stately and friendly – and clever ?  You bet !
But less of a songbird, more of a gloater,
Less a soprano and more a deep-throater.
But let them by boastful, they’ve sure earned the right –
As bright as the day and as black as the night.

I wonder why crows are so out-of-favour ?
Always an omen, never a saviour,
Always a stranger and never a buddy,
Forever the raven’s understudy.
But crows are urban and on the rise
As bright as the streets and as black as the skies.


Weasel Words

The least weasel in Summer coat


Weasel Words

Some folks hate the spiders,
And some the toads or rats,
And snakes have their deriders,
As do pigeons, pigs and bats.
But surely the most slandered
And unfairly gerrymandered
Are the weasels, hated weasels –
Just as welcome as the measles.
Perfect to disgust the kids:
The creepiest of mustelids.

No.  I won’t stand for it:
Discrimination, that’s its name.
Think them evil, call them kinky,
Just because they’re low and slinky,
Just because you need something to blame.
Don’t call them duplicitous,
Or cowardly, or weak –
As mother’s they’re solicitous,
As predators they’re sleek.

Was ever so maligned a beast ?
So fine a beast at that !
They thrive in north and south and east,
As cute as any cat.
Was ever so maligned a beast,
For being red and small ?
Least weasels ?  They ain’t least !
They’re weasels most of all !



Chief Mousers to the Cabinet Office

Larry, the incumbent.  I wonder what his collar tag says ?


Chief Mousers to the Cabinet Office

Since days of Wolsey, there we’ve been,
Lurking beneath the throne –
The éminence grise, or tabby, or brown,
The whiskered presence behind the crown.
Each light-footed tom and dagger-clawed queen
Has worked their paws to the bone,
Keeping our ministers free from vermin,
Keeping the rodents from nesting in ermine.

For we are civil servants too,
Patrolling halls of power –
Wherever the traitors skulk and plot,
We’re here to pounce upon the lot.
For mouse or magpie, rat or shrew,
We’ll make those riff-raff cower !
While members jeer and speakers spout,
We’ll keep the rebel squeakers out.


strike a pose
photo by jacey666



I saw a raven at a crossroads, perched
Atop a rustic fingerpost.
Now there, I thought, as she crowed and lurched,
Is a raven being raven-most.
With pretty hamlets beneath her claws
And shepherd’s skies behind her jet,
She guarded the lanes with portent caws
Where the paths of chance and folklore met.



White Knowledge

raven foot
Common Raven Foot by Glori Berry


White Knowledge

Hey, have you heard the news ?
It turns out ev’ry single bird,
From ducks to crows to cockatoos,
Is really just a dinosaur !
I bet you never knew before !
Oh, I guess you’ve heard…

Well, of course you have, I guess…
We all have – hey, we ain’t naive.
Some facts, it seems, we all possess,
They’re quotes that ev’rybody knows –
Apparently, it’s one of those,
Like, ‘sharks must swim to breathe’.

Like how Brazil and Timbuktoo
Have split apart and drifted.
The jigsaw that’s too-good for true,
Is really true !  And the world is round,
In space our screams won’t make a sound,
And the stars have slowly shifted.

Or how without a pinch of salt,
We’d all be quickly dead.
But sodium and chlorine halt
Our welfare quicker, if we dined
On each alone – but when combined,
We’re kept alive instead.

We know all this, we’ve known for years –
It’s just some stuff we know.
It’s been so long between our ears,
We’ve let it grow mundane –
If we forgot and learned again,
Our minds would surely blow.

But hey, not ev’rybody knows,
We all had to be told.
So someone had to first disclose
That farting fungus rises bread,
Or knocking protons out of lead
Will turn it into gold.

So someone has to spread the word,
And we could be the ones !
For someone, somewhere hasn’t heard,
And we could get to cast the spell,
And see their wonder as we tell
Of how we’re made from suns !

Put out to Pasture

Bringing up the Guns by Harold Power


Put out to Pasture

Once a time, horses were ev’rywhere:
Carrying knights on their scoutings and charges,
Galloping messengers, lancers in battle,
Winding our winches and towing our barges,
Trekking our caravans, herding our cattle,
Ploughing our fields and pulling our drays,
Hauling our minecarts, waggons and hearses,
The Hansom and omnibus, stagecoach and chaise
Were drawn with a mixture of carrots and curses.
Chestnuts and roans and brindles and bays,
Black beauties, piebalds and fleabitten greys.
Rocking our children and hobbying fairs,
Stuffing our cushions and gluing our chairs.

So where are they now ?
They all got replaced by machines in the end,
That can do their jobs better and do their jobs faster –
They’re cheaper to build and are quicker to mend,
And don’t need reminding just who is their master.
The horses can only be worked to the bone,
They try hard, but haven’t the means.
They’ve all been replaced, through no fault of their own –
For who can compete with machines ?
In hindsight, of course, it is always the case:
When a horse must compete with the new iron horse,
Then it’s always a one-horse race.

These day, humans are ev’rywhere –
Building our furniture, stitching our clothes,
Driving our buses and stacking our shelves.
Doing the jobs the majority loathes,
For who else could do it for us but ourselves ?
Builders and farmers and doctors and tutors –
Of course they need humans !  Whyever d’you ask ?
You can’t leave the it down to machines and computers –
It’s not like there’s robots for every task.
We’ll be here for donkey’s years, my dears,
Despite such market forces –
So close up the stable door once more,
We’re all safe as horses !