Extracts from

The Waistband and other poems

Wildlife On One

At the end of his life
my dad the square-eyed townie
watched wildlife programmes mostly;
a jackal gnaws on a living gnu's
hindquarters, a crocodile clamps
its implausible jaws around a dazed gazelle
at a waterhole while the
dripping herd bolts off.
Dad knew what orchids eat
The way a snowgoose flies
How gibbons get in spring
Golden eagles were as familiar
to him as whaups or hoodies, angelfish
blazed across his Clyde
caribou mooched on
the moonlit moors of Renfrewshire
hiding or hungry in the snow.
Dad loved the telefoto zoom,
fast film stop frame,
Grizzly close ups in sly slo mo
Never got used to David Attenborough though.


© Donny O'Rourke, 1997