The fallen Escurel
Fear glare shock of leaping slip,
upper body twisted shovel flat
instinct power kicks hind legs
to distance human path. Dog scent
desperation heaves , burrows head
in mounded litter leaves, camouflage
of mottled grey. Luscious auburn tail
is splayed against the sanctuary heights.
Teeth gnaw at the buried roots
clinging as the surefoot limbs to bark.
Dimming life pulse fades to dark.
The Plight of the Red Squirrel
Pinecone clutched adeptly between his paws, he hesitates,
ears quivering, alert for a predatory fox or a swooping goshawk.
Danger lurks unseen within this innocent sylvan landscape.
Concealed by the dense tree canopy, a stealthy pine marten
Waits to pounce and crush the fragile bones, strip bare the russet coat.
Reaction must be swift, his tail balancing him perfectly in flight.
High overhead in the tree’s hollow his vulnerable kittens cower
in the patchwork drey of woven twigs, leaves and moss.
Instinctive parental behaviour kicks in. He is their survival.
Recognising a sudden chill in the wind, he scrabbles urgently
among the dying leaves, as autumn makes its last stand.
‘Chuck chuk’, he stamps his feet in bold defiance, eyes darting warily.
His breed shows dwindling numbers year on year,
disappearing from their British haunts.
This is our watch, we cannot ignore the call –
Sciurus Vulgaris looks to man for protection;
Tomorrow may be too late!
-©️ Margaret Royall
Leaves fall to their end.
Cold darkens every step.
Naked limbs outstretch.
Untidy trees slough,
abandon clothes all over.
Others clean their mess
Squirrels skitter up,
hold bounty for a nibble.
Stop, look and listen.
Sky looks at itself,
sees scumbled clouds, palette knifed
blue flecked by cold gust.