Set: Opening

2 sonnets for badgers

Artwork by ATM streetart -

The holy night-wanderer John Clare loved badgers. So do I.

Today their communities are being decimated by an anti-life policy which, taken to its logical conclusion,will doom all farms to become zones of sterility as agro-business declares total war on nature. Logically birdlife will have to go next, and the wonders of 5G will soon be on hand to assist with any requisite faunal cleansing.

But our herds are going down with bovine TB because immunities have been compromised by discredited methods of farming. And meanwhile poor old badger's being held to blame.

Rebuilding an intuitive relationship with the land does not mean science thrown out of the window, not at all. But the head must bow to the heart; and we must stop the cull!

Mad John Clare loved badgers and so do we.


The badger's grand set, openinglike a tunnel of the Northern Lineonly lacking mock-Doric coping;and the pungent smack of his urinehitting, an aromatic barragenot the stench of a pissed-up carriagesomewhere between Morden and Burnt Oak.He must be an industrious blokeexcavating in the small hoursnot unlike some nocturnal poethollowing-out, when all is quietunderneath his ivory towersmaking room for good supplies and storesto keep barren winter from his doors.


Long-striped in his lunar night-fieldbig thickset badger's underdogin this day: his fate is sealed.Roaming once East Warren in the foghe used to prowl behind these hillsdigging up coneys with claw-drillsdustclouds under his tail, gruntingpower-shovel with bloodlust hunting.Now you find him on the vergeas roadkill of the juggernautfine-tuned nostrils sunk in asphaltwhere three flashing highways mergea strange two-dimensional corpseemblem of the natural world's collapse.