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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

In search of a mate...or not.

Nigel the lonely gannet

New Zealand conservationists mourn loss of celebrated bird that was lured by replica gannets in the hope of establishing a breeding colony.

It’s a tale that’s sad, and a bit absurd,
and wasn’t meant to end at all like this.
Nigel, ‘no mates’ gannet, unlucky bird

swooped on Mana island, thought he heard
a colony calling. But something was amiss.
It’s a tale that’s sad, and a bit absurd.

Loud-speakers broadcast the calls that stirred
poor Nigel’s heart. He landed in hope of bliss -
Nigel, ‘no mates’ gannet, unlucky bird.

Of eighty concrete, painted gannets, one spurred
Nigel to stroke her cold wings, give her a kiss.
It’s a tale that’s sad and a bit absurd.

He built her a nest, sang her a song. No word
or look for five long years. A frosty Miss.
Nigel, ‘no mates’ gannet, such an unlucky bird.

Three real gannets came. He should have transferred
affection, but clung instead to the abyss.
It’s a tale that’s sad, and a bit absurd;
faithful to his fake love, Nigel died. Unlucky bird.

© Sue Norton


Sue Norton has had poems published in various magazines. She was a prizewinner in the 2017 Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry competition.



The female is the species
(Procambarus virginalis)

She looked at all the others
From her German pet shop tank
Wondering why they bothered
It all seemed a waste of time
The courting and the game play
Just to choose a pointless mate
But with her extra chromosome
She’d made the male redundant
From that beginning, of only one
This ten legged pest mutation
Has spawned across the globe
A brand new species, all from her
The self-cloning marbled crayfish
All sisters with no need of fathers

Maybe she was simply the first
Are males obsolete?

© Peter Wright


Peter was born and grew up in Kent and now lives in Dorset. He started writing poetry just over a year ago and tries to write something every day.

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