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Nets of words – A moorhen in a tree

We saw a moorhen in a tree.
Is that where it was meant to be?
To confine birds in nets of words
Is almost literally absurd.
To tag and confine designates,
Appropriates and then creates
A noose, a trap, or captive pit
For a bird that has no use of it.

The botanist stoops low to spy
Some new flower that’s caught her eye.
Once ID’d she’ll likely ignore,
Moving on quick to find some more.
Twitching birders have less idea -
[Is that there ‘wreck’ your first this year? ]
Blown-in from some far-off country
Mega tick: poor doomed rarity.

Old books say the moorhen’s common
But from old places now it’s gone.
T’is no hen, and few on What moor?
The vernacular works no more -
Indeed, it scarcely works at all;
Marshes drained and mink took their toll -
Yankee ones from out their cages -
Degraded the work of ages.

Oh, for a world before our peers
When beavers were the engineers;
Where marshes slept and quiet streams flowed
Wending wherever they would go.
Now, in a town natives call ‘Peef’
Kids play on a pond in the ‘Heath’
For townsfolk it’s a country park,
The moorhen sees a tree  
                                   (and finds an ark).

© RM Meyer
Hampshire & North Devon, August & November 2020