At first glance, National Poetry Day – celebrated this year on 3 October – and World Land Trust don’t seem to have much in common.
The mission of World Land Trust (WLT) is to save threatened wild places and the rare and endangered species that inhabit them. Forward Arts Foundation, the organisation behind National Poetry Day, has a mission to encourage everyone, everywhere to use poetry to say things that can’t be said in prose.
To inspire the uninspired, the National Poetry Day team thoughtfully suggest a theme. And, when we discovered that this year’s theme is ‘water, water, everywhere’, we started to feel that perhaps we could make a small contribution to this annual, nationwide celebration of poetry. After all, watery habitat occurs in reserves supported by WLT, and some of the world’s most important wetlands – and the creatures that live in them – are under threat.
As the climate warms and as more and more land is drained for agriculture and development, wet places become harder to find. And that means that amphibians, in particular, suffer.
Thanks to Martin Kiszko, the UK’s Green Poet, we have found a poem that sheds a fresh light on the need to preserve wetland habitat. A humorous poem, Pond Property has a serious message entirely in keeping with World Land Trust’s aims. We hope you enjoy it.
Property wanted for professional frog.
Must be in clean condition or with scope for improvement.
Exceptional jumper – could easily hop in to city centre –
May even consider a newly converted garden pond
If well proportioned and tastefully presented
Within easy reach of large kitchen/breakfast woodland area.
Private entrance and high water level (no steep sides) preferred,
Since access to land is required.
Can afford two hundred bugs a month.
Happy to share (will split rent) with mayflies, whirligig beetles, and leeches.
I should mention I’m living alone with several froglets to support –
So, close enough to amenities would be handy for takeaway insects and worms.
Property must be in the local catchment area
Of marshes, ditches, swamps, rocks and puddles.
Last pond we lived in was drained and built on –
So don’t contact me if there is proximity to humans.
(Or lawnmowers. My partner met a frightful end with one).
And no noisy unfriendly neighbours: fish, birds, bats or snakes.
Don’t want to croak on about it but I’m on my last legs (so to speak).
There’s a big shortage of ponds out there.
No time wasters please.
Pond Property © 2013 Martin Kiszko ‘The UK’s Green Poet’. All Rights Reserved.
Illustration © 2013 Nick Park. All Rights reserved.