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TOM

My passion is wildlife
My compulsion to write
About endangered species
Even more so those critically
Those on the way over the edge
Or already over, clinging on
I write to collect the strands
To weave into a rope
A very big rope, super strong
A rescue rope
Nothing less is needed
A rescue mission must be mounted
(Admittedly, ‘Slightly Mad’ I take this on)
Many hands make life work
Gather all the resources
Bring the fading back to life, brilliantly
 
But there are many, so very many
 
Not just those unfortunates
On the Critically Endangered List
Not just the hundreds
On the IUCN Red list
(That’s a life’s work
For a endangered-species poet)
 
There are more, so very many more
 
Dr Evil’s ‘One Million Dollars!’
He wasn’t so out of date
‘One million’ is a hell of a lot
When it comes to possible extinctions
One Million species under threat
It will take millions, even billions
To turn things back
Humans pledging to act
Using words, minds and wallets
Changing habits, choosing kind
To enact a threat reversal
No ransom to be paid
It is an investment in a future
To clear us of historic blame
Where our descendants will also get to see
All the current birds in the sky
All the insects, bees and butterflies
All the animals on the land, and underground
All the life in the rivers, lakes and seas
On the polar ice and volcanic vents, undersea
From the stratosphere to the deepest trench
All niches occupied by life prolific
 
So many, so very, very many
 
Not missing any one, let alone one million
This is not the work of any one, but millions
Not even millions as already seen
It’s a worldwide endeavour, billions needed
A place for everyone to make their mark
One thing alone, in all these hearts
Has the power to achieve the great turning
Recognition of the sanctity of life
Enshrined in our most sacred place
Our hearts to rule or minds
Then to see that Earth is life’s only sanctuary
For all we know, in the cold universe
Sanctuary Earth will then be gazetted
Universally
And we its custodians and keepers
Its rangers and protectors
Sentinels overwatching
#sacrosanct will reign
In our (more than) sanctuary
Sacrosanctuary
 
It doesn’t end there
Because as yet it hasn’t started
Here and now must become nowafter
Now is the time, already escaping
We have to set out
In hot pursuit, to overtake
And regain the advantage
How shall we outrun time
Run it down?
Add your one to another’s
And another’s – collectively
Join and recruit, cross over
Rightsided
In this history unfolding
We don’t want to be caught
Wrongsided
Join the community of animal lovers
Nature lovers, life affirmers
Receive the names and the stories
That long list of the endangered
Keep the species top of mind
And at the heart of what matters
That’s my job to keep it coming
Going all out full time
Spread the word, weave the rope itself
Anchor the handmade rescue rope
While those at the front
Throw the lifeline
The rest to pull them back, in unison
One by one if necessary
‘Hold onto hope as you would a rescue rope’
This is the ‘Endgame’ that is no game
But if we don’t play so many will end
 
So very many
 
Hope might seem besieged
But a world community can keep it burning
Spread the flame, inflame the passions
Which is where all this begins
And where this poem began
Full circle  – never ends
Now to complete the circle of life
Keep it preserved to keep rolling
Ecocycling into the future
As the Earth keeps turning
If the Earth was an Ark
As well as a sanctuary
It would be calling
‘All aboard’ likeminders
Fellow travellers:
‘Embarking’!
 
This is what I do
And this is how, in verse
But I can’t even get to the bottom
Of my shortlist
While working full-time
Distracting livelihood, meaningless pursuit
Counterproductive, contraindicated
I am only one, but I want to write
Full-time, my passion is my work
Yet it will need an army of such creators
To make a dent in one million
Unless we cut the list
In half, then in half, and keep going
Until there is only a short list
That’s the passionate goal
This is what I will do…
 
Stay tuned
TOM is coming…

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