Napowrimo #8: Culinary Advice

When having prawns for dinner,
always drink white wine;
whatever else you offer,
they’ll tactfully decline.


Napowrimo #7: The Flightless Falcon

On oceanic islands
under endless sky
many birds evolve without
the ability to fly.

The Inaccessible Island Rail,
the Stephens Island Wren,
the Réunion Sacred Ibis
and St Helena Swamphen:

all flightless; nearly all extinct;
but none were stranger than
the Flightless Falcon that once lived
on an island near Japan.

It was a ruthless hunter,
and would perch upon a rock
until below there waddled past
a Flightless Pigeon flock.

It swooped down at its prey;
and if it missed it then
it walked back over to its rock
and clambered up again.


Napowrimo #6: Storks

A bit on the paper-thin side even by this year’s standards; but during napowrimo you take what you can get.


In which a popular myth is dispelled, and some helpful advice is offered for homeowners living in those regions where this decorative species is most commonly found.

Thanks to an early misprint,
people think that storks bring babies.
That would be ridiculous;
they actually bring rabies.

If a pair nest on your chimney,
there’s no need out to freak;
unless you notice that the storks
are frothing at the beak.


Napowrimo #5: The Wandering Pine

The Wandering Pine migration’s an unstoppable stampede
which makes up in tenacity for what it lacks in speed;
usually they’ve travelled about eighteen inches when
it’s time for them to turn around and head back north again.


Napowrimo #4: The Great White Shark

The Great White Shark

Carcharodon carcharias
is sadly much maligned;
they live on cheese and use their teeth
to help remove the rind.*

*Since in the Pacific
cheddar can be hard to find,
they sometimes snack on swimmers.
But I daresay no-one minds.


Napowrimo #3: The Native English Elephant

The Native English Elephant

The native English elephant
is very rarely seen;
its hide is finely camouflaged
with dappled brown and green.

The elephants of England
are terribly discreet.
They stroll around in hazel woods
on softly-falling feet.

To find if English elephants
are living near you:
in April check for little piles
of bluebell-scented poo.