February 27th is International Polar Bear Day, and polar bears are under threat because of the melting ice caps. But they are far from the only animals we are in danger of losing.
Jackie Kay (1961 – ) is a Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist, known for Other Lovers, Trumpet, and Red Dust Road. She was Scot Makar, the poet laureate of Scotland, from 2016 to 2020.
To read Jackie Kay’s poem “Extinction” please click:
by Jackie Kay
We closed the borders, folks, we nailed it.
No trees, no plants, no immigrants.
No foreign nurses, no Doctors; we smashed it.
We took control of our affairs. No fresh air.
No birds, no bees, no HIV, no Poles, no pollen.
No pandas, no polar bears, no ice, no dice.
No rainforests, no foraging, no France.
No frogs, no golden toads, no Harlequins.
No Greens, no Brussels, no vegetarians, no lesbians.
No carbon curbed emissions, no Co2 questions.
No lions, no tigers, no bears. No BBC picked audience.
No loony lefties, please. No politically correct classes.
No classes. No Guardian readers. No readers.
No emus, no EUs, no Eco warriors, no Euros,
No rhinos, no zebras, no burnt bras, no elephants.
We shut it down! No immigrants, no immigrants.
No sniveling-recycling-global-warming nutters.
Little man, little woman, the world is a dangerous place.
Now, pour me a pint, dear. Get out of my fracking face.
“Extinction” © 2015 by Jackie Kay, posted at Keep it in the ground: a poem a day
Polar bear photograph by Eric LeFranc-Solent