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The Arctic, after many a summer,

is melting and our magnolia

flowers twice. In more unenlightened times,

a lone frog, even a Common Frog,

appearing at the small water feature

enclosed by ornamental grasses

and bamboo – in a garden frogless

for all the decades we have tended it –

would have been runed with ill omens.


We have butterflies – a number of Peacocks,

some Large Tortoiseshells, an occasional

Comma – but cannot recall the last

caterpillar. We bought a pocket book

of butterflies for our granddaughter.

She chose it. We had seen a Purple Hairstreak

at Wisley, fluttering above the Gunnera

Manicata, the uneatable

‘Giant Rhubarb’ from the deforested

mountains of Brazil. She leafs through the pages.


How old will she by the time it becomes

a book of remembrance?




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Tim Ellis
    August 31, 2013

    The final two lines are just right, David. I’m enjoying seeing butterflies now we never used to get in Yorkshire – comma, speckled wood and gatekeeper are becoming common, and we even had a hummingbird moth in our garden recently – but at the same time I know the northerly migration of species is an ominous sign of climate damage and a threat to everything that lives on this planet.

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