By Martin Kiszko, illustrated by Nick Park
Redcliffe Press, £9.99
The poems in Martin Kiszko's Green Poems for a Blue Planet cross the spectrum from humour to pathos to give fresh perspectives on environmental themes, both ordinary and extraordinary.
Screwed Up, for example, is a poem about a downtrodden piece of litter, the opening verse: "I'm a screwed up piece of litter / Looking for a mate, / And any kind of homely bin / Where we can propagate."
On a grander scale, a Whale of a Tale, tells the true story of the Bottlenose Whale that tragically swam up the Thames in 2006: "If only the song of the whale could be played / From the mouth of the river to call her back home. / But such notions were futile since boats on the Thames / Drowned any music the scientists made."
Brilliantly illustrated by Nick Park of Aardman Animations, the book will appeal to both children and adults.
To give a flavour of Martin's poetry, the poem My Natural History is published here, in full.
My Natural History
I took the path by the factory
Flanked by industrial towers.
I saw no cloud, no tree, no beast,
No fish, no bird, no flower.
I took the path through the smoke stacks,
Hazy with vapour and smog.
I saw no bee, no butterfly,
No squirrel on a log.
I took the path to the city streets,
I saw no smiling face,
No playful run or leap or hop,
No playground game or race.
I took the path by the highway
Where my heartbeat could not be heard.
The bustle of life was full volume,
Overpowering whisper or word.
I took the path where the wild things are,
I laughed with the crow and the frog.
I danced in a glade of bluebells
With the dandelion and dock.
I took the path to deep woodland,
Through mazes of bramble and weed.
I wandered a track that ended
At a jungle of bracken and reed.
And there at the heart of wilderness,
Like a lost or hidden child,
Were the roots of my natural history:
What it was like to be wild.
Poem and illustrations © 2013 Martin Kiszko and Nick Park (all rights reserved)