Geoff Lander : Gotcha!

Down at Rainham, we are told,
there's a migrant breaks the mould.
In the swaying Essex sedges
“Cross mi 'eart!” The warden pledges
“Reddish. Some six inches long”
All at once an eager throng
has gathered, pointing fancy lenses,
taken leave, to lie with senses
heightened in the marshland mud.

Starting from the crowded decking
rumours ripple: “Small bird pecking.”
Eagle-eyed some Ongar bloke has
seen him. The Prakticas focus.
“Gotcha!” cry the happy twitchers,
seasoned watchers need no pictures.
“Blast, e's 'opped it.” So they break
to tick the box marked: Baillon's Crake.
whose chick, it seems, can't lose a bearing
lest the legions flood in, staring.

The A13's awash with cars,
as brandishing binoculars
they come to steal his privacy
from Dartford to the river Lea.
Life's not what it's craked up to be,
and dreading this dystopia,
grown mopier and mopier,
he's fled -- to Ethiopia.


Geoff Lander