Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Supporters' Poetry and other poetry

Pagham Brent

Midday sun gleams across silent spring floods
where quiet birds murmur and wait the turning tide,
a Spoonbill, waders and duck crowd the sea’s edge.
There in windless frosty light, ‘contra jour’,
silhouetted black swimmers calmly move,
brent geese on the glassy shining water.

Tame these little Arctic geese , only yards away,
take time out, their food: feet under water.
Safe the estuary, shooting not allowed here.
A thousand birds start North, the leading groups first.
Gradually taking off like bombers leaving on a raid,
rising over woods, to drop on grassy fields.

A short silence, then the whole company
go up with a gentle clamour, assembling,
all move to a field just behind the fresh marsh.
Curlews probe nearby turf, joined by gulls
opportunistically feeding among the brent.
Several thousand at least feed on the pasture.

Suddenly, to a command, they all lift as one.
Pruk-pruk, they peacefully call, passing the sea wall,
overhead lit in the bright sunlight, the thrilling throng
fly back to the estuary to settle down,
over their feeding place, Zostera grass
out of reach until the tide goes out once more.
Pruk-pruk, Pruk-pruk


© John T Jackson Tuesday Feb 23rd Midday, Pagham Harbour, Sussex
Brent geese Branta bernicla breed in the high arctic. A circumpolar distribution round the Arctic ocean with several races involved. Perhaps never seeing human beings in their lives, they live on Svalbard and Arctic Russia, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. That is why they are so tame. In winter they move south to estuaries where they feed on Eel grass Zostera marina, our only flowering plant to live in a marine environment. Farm pasture forms an important part of their diet too.


Hare by Elisabeth Chidsey

Elephant by Elton Wilmot. Read by Virginia McKenna

Deer at Navidale by Alistair MacLeod. Read by Virginia McKenna

Fennec Fox and The Gharial by Dawn Lawrence. Read by Virginia McKenna

Ghost in a Cage by Dominic Newman aged 13. Read by Virginia McKenna

Wild Within - Atandi Anyona from Nairobi, Kenya reads his own poem

Thunderbirds by Iain D Kemp read by Virginia McKenna

The following poem is dedicated to George Adamson, who I believe was a quiet man, with many layers and a hero of mine.  Quote 'Who will look after these lions when my voice is dust upon the wind' that inspired the poem. Due to be published by United Press later this year.


Through the moons phase and dusting of stars
In emerald and violet squalls
A polar bear ripples, mirage-like
Among a disco inferno.
The glacier shape-shifter morphs, airborne
Into a Neolithic shaman, in a buffalo robe
Holding a skin drum that jingled,
And sailing a silver sled.
Creatures from every core, gazed upward
As the shaman’s prophecy
Was revealed in pyrotechnic auras.
In some mystic moment,  magnetically, they were
Swept skywards and transmuted,
Into glittering atoms,
Spiralling the silver sled.
The shaman on reaching ‘the roof of the world’
Morphed again into the glacier bear,
And an avalanche of animals,
Gathered around the pulpit,
Of the white crowned mountains of the Himalaya’s.
Towards the West sombre veils stretched
The earth bellowed, lightening shazzaned
Echoing in larva pools.
Light trickled over ‘the roof of the world'
From fuse to flame and beyond Olympic proportions.
A bugle barked, bursting airwaves, and a glorious white Lion
Appeared in a nimbus of Gold,
His glimmering mane was animated with
Tendrils that curled, swayed and recoiled

He roared “I have heard your prayers,
And the Kingdom of God has come to you”
And to man  he roared “These are my children
That have suffered by your hands
Now you will suffer by mine”

Poem on the Blind Rhino in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya

Lovely Baraka is your name
Sight lost through travails in life
Alert always upon my voice
Man made  choice of your destiny
So sharp is your heart

Lovely Baraka
So stiff are your joints
So cold is your skin
Yet so warm is your heart

You passed every test of life
Flies crown you with excellence
Your presence makes the difference
Your life safe in their hands

Lovely Baraka


All caged, wild animals should be set free from captivity,
Locked up for life in circus cages for the paying public to see!
Man’s inhumanity to wild animals is a crying shame,
Born Free is an organization to prevent this immense suffering and pain.
Support their initiatives to return them to their natural habitat,
The African lion is one of our Big Five and a noble cat!
Free to roam on the open veldt and enjoy the sun,
They belong to a pride, to hunt and run!
Conserve and protect and save them from extinction,
It is our duty to educate the next generation!

By David Grimbeek


Who will carry my voice?
From this dusty dungeon
Carry it far and everywhere for the world to envision
And remember the commission
To love, care, protect
I desire to run wild
Climb, jump and howl in the field
My eyes have grown weary
My finger I keep protruding
Gazing at the children, hoping
Someone, everyone will see my plight
And for my freedom fight
I belong to the WILD

By Pamela Mbalo (in Nairobi)


Through the spiralling red mists of a dust storm
A coppery-gold and black feline emerged.
Sleek, speckled with ethereal kisses,
An elegant shape-shifter with 99 inner eyes.
Freckle-faced, touched by a wizard’s wand,
Instilled with spiritual knowledge
A unique instinct and an illusionist’s cape,
So she can slip like a spirit between worlds.
She is the music of nature,
A Phoenix reinventing herself
Throughout times dimensions.
Emerald boughs cradle the tree-cat
She sleeps safely held in Thalia’s wings,
Her golden contours ripple mirage-like in the midday sun.
In evening’s nearness she rouses,
Patiently holding her hunger,
Until light drifts and dies.
In murky fleets, eyes blaze
In a whirlwind, she shazzans the veil of life from her preys eyes,
Spring boarding it weightlessly through her tree camp.
Among rockfaces and thorny spurs, she resides
Ruffling sand, to hide her signature span, from foes.
Once the Leopard was the largest land species, covering half the world
More than all the other cats put together,
Now only around 16 Amur Leopards remain.
Today their enemies outnumber them 20 to 1,
Many cubs don’t make adulthood and die a violent death.
They are rare relics roaming largely unnoticed,
Fearing mankind, for they have been sought after
Considered as vermin they have been burnt alive.
Their forests fragmented, felled,
Despite their perseverance, her story is withering.
The Leopard is a legend and when a legend dies,
Dreams end, and there is no more greatness.


Heavy and impressive they walk on four legs
Grey skin with white tusks growing out of their heads
To see an Elephant what an amazing site
But we are responsible for this creature’s plight
They roam free upon this world
But how long will an Elephant roar be heard
The biggest mammal to walk on this land
And yet its future lies in the palm of our hand
How can this be, why do we kill
To have an ornament on our window sill
We have to stop and understand nature
To live and let live not destroy their future
For the sake of a trinket made from a tooth
The animal dies leaving an orphaned youth
How terribly sad it would be
To explain to a child on your knee
This is an Elephant they were the biggest animal
But there are none left now we killed them all.

By Lee Carter


Bugs Poem

From supporter Marianne Scarfe who writes wildlife poetry suitable for children.

Creepy crawlies are what l like ;      

Worms that squirm and bugs that bite                       
And beetles that scurry in the dark of the night !
Ants who march in a long long line 
And carry a crumb from the left to the right !

Slugs who move very slowly in a trail of slippery slime ,
And woodlice awoken from an upturned stone
Covered in earth and grime !

Spiders waiting in silken webs 
Wanting to tempt a fly ,
Watching the world very quietly  
They pounce in the blink of an eye !

Fog of the Sundarbans

Carry me fog, carry me above the reeling world.
As I float aloft in contemplation, rain
your slow countdown of dreadful suspense
over where the mangroves still customize
their Paleolithic arches to fit the gaping mugger maws,
white bellies beached on the stench of
rattan and rotting invertebrates.

Where the grey syrup of the delta
fills and bubbles out of crab holes,
leaves an unsuspected gem or two
with every doleful flux over the soggy floor,
bloated and porous like a tea cake,
and mud hoppers scatter like marbles out of a bag.

The soundless flicker of a bound still lights
the wick of nature. Shape of adoration
and disquiet among the coiled and knotted shadows,
the burn wavers through the fog.
Low, the warning slip of the reptilian tongue
may soon tell the last tree on which
tarnished and nostalgic our relapses hang.

The silence, a clamor in a chamber of death
where none will know how to move with ease
but extinction lapping deeper into the waterways.

So carry me, fog, carry me over  the sinuous tides,
the industrious budding and falling of leaves, an anguished
fleet of deer until, fluid and vital,
the tiger dawns orange through your dismal shroud.

by Stephanie Sears


Imagine this; you're living free,
You're as happy as can be.
You have your family, brave and true,
For whom there's nothing you wouldn't do.
What could disturb your harmony?
Something horrific to the highest degree;
A hunter, lethal, you're on his list,
Surely there's something you must have missed?
You've done nothing wrong, he's got a reason,
For his kind it's hunting season,
He'll kill you for what God gave to you,
Your tusks, your fur, your teeth will do.
Poor innocent creatures, why target them?
For some stuffed trophy on the wall of a den?
Hunting is cruel, inhuman, vile
Hunting is for the infantile
Who love to play games, and mess with lives
Who know none other than their precious knives
Or guns, those weapons of mass destruction
Weapons made in mass production.
All these animals were born for a reason
We feel to kill them is, to God, treason
Don't hunt these animals, leave them be.
Let them live forever free.

Amy -written age 15, Southend 2011

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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