In the housing co-op I live in, there is an internal email system for members to communicate with each other about domestic goings on, and sometimes people post things they think might interest others. Today someone posted a call-out from Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition, and directly beneath it they had posted the summary from the bird-watching course they are doing. I wondered what the two posts might look like if they were spliced together. This is my ‘found’ poem:
On the Cusp of Spring
The sun shone and to herald spring
Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Blue tit
and Goldfinch sang to our gathering
With the bloody and failing occupations
of Iraq and Afghanistan still in place,
the USA, Britain and France
are now committed to an escalating
armed intervention in Libya.
Sheep grazed on improved grassland
which usually means that there is little to be noted
on such bland landscapes
but we managed to note Woodpigeon,
Stock Dove and Mistle Thrush
before we moved along the road
in our search for more bird friendly habitat
The decision to attack Libya and impose regime change –
for that is what the UN resolution means –
may have been authorised by the Security Council.
But it was instigated by the despots of the Arab League,
desperate to secure deeper western involvement
in the region to save them from their own peoples.
And it will be implemented by the same powers
which have wreaked such mayhem
throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds
over the last ten years and longer.
Sadly our first impressions gave us little encouragement
for such is the parlous state of modern farmland
where for the most part it resembles a factory production line
that gives little space for birds
but viewing heavenward
in a bright blue sky we took heart at seeing three Buzzards
effortlessly moving in the thermals above a nearby wood.
The imposition of a “no-fly zone”,
air attacks on Libyan defences
and Gaddafi’s troops,
and naval bombardments
will not bring peace to Libya
nor a resolution
to the conflict there.
They will, however, cost more
civilian lives and they will set Britain
and the world on an escalator
of military intervention which risks
ending up with an occupation
of at least part of Libya.
A few purposeful strides later
and we were at a ‘messy’ farmyard/farmhouse
enclave where we soon appreciated
that a bit of chaos and an inclination not to modernise
and tidy every area of man’s occupation,
such as we encounter in our urban world of today,
pays dividends for birdlife
hence we were treated to the bustle
of a mixed flock of House and Tree Sparrows
before we moved onto the open fields once more.
As the people’s revolution unfolds in Bahrain,
the Bahraini government has
called on its despotic partners in the Middle East
to crush the uprising.
On Thursday, over 1000 Saudi and 500 Emirati (UAE) troops
crossed into Bahrain to join Bahraini government forces
in attacking the unarmed, peaceful protesters.
Hundreds of innocent men, women, and children
have been wounded, and many killed
by government forces,
and the massacre
does not seem likely
The area that lay before us
still had that mix of crops
that encourages a varied mix of farmland birds
but on the occasion of our visit
little of this was to be seen
until we applied ourselves
then Red Legged and Grey Partridge
revealed themselves to our straining gaze.
There is money for endless war and Trident
so why is the government making massive cuts?
£20 billion has been spent on the unjustifed
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan is costing £4.5 billion a year.
David Cameron says British troops will be there at least till 2014.
We then turned back from whence we came
for to do a circuit of this area
would have required the application of ramblers
out on a mission
rather than a bimbling team of birdwatchers
Who were out for a few birds
and a lot of comfortable chit-chat
on a supremely beautiful