Poetry Challenge. PoeM 24 : The Black Kite

Milvana by Ruth Konigsberger

As many of you will know I am trying to finish this 26 poetry challenge I started during our Spanish lockdown experience. We are currently entering back into that phase here in the North of the UK and I still have three poems to go. However, we have managed to spend time with Jessica Rose, our new arrival and focus of my last post. All is going well.

This poem is forDverse poets open link night, always a source of inspiration and able to kick start me. http://www.dversepoets.com

This poem is about the very successful and world wide species of black kites. The drawing is by Ruth Konisgsberger and is part of the portrait of the character of the black kite in my novel. I will do a post on this as soon as I finish these poems! Black kites do visit the Sierra on their migration, some breed here. However, nowadays the red kites seem more common.

The Migrating Kites ( Milvus migrans or Milano negro in Spanish)

Our Milvana migrates from here,

Here to somewhere over there,

Over the deserts to Afri Ka.

All kinds of kites have flown

All around the world wide web,

Connected by genes from ancient

Almost Jurassic dinosaur times.

Archaeopteryx, the mother bird

First flew the world.

Black kites, by many other names

Milano, Milhafre

Live long lives of 20 years or so

With brains that may adapt

To many different climes.

Some flew over wide waters                                                                                                     

To islands in the vast Atlantic

To the Azores.

Some flew to Gondawa

And learnt how

To use burning branches

To flush out scared prey.

Before wild fires spread so fast

To destroy whole forests,

In changing times

With wildlife crimes.

Others in the East

Fly around the temples

Of the many headed Gods

Brahmin souls in flight

Pariahs picking the bones

Of the dead.

Here in the Sierra

Not many black kites

Now fly.

Does anyone care

Why?

Wishing everyone a safe and purposeful time in such a difficult era.

For anyone wishing to sponsor the poems I will put up some new links for the charity Birdlife International who coordinate the conservation of birds across our human borders.

Poem 22 and 23. The Stork brings our Rose

My plan was to finish my poetry challenge by October 4th when the cancelled London marathon is run in a limited way. But plans can often go astray particularly when babies decide it is their time to be born. We welcome to our family the tiny Jessica Rose. And for my next two poems I will honour her with a stork and rose poem!  That will leave me three more to go, which are almost ready. I apologise too for the link to my fundraising page as without me knowing it had a time limit. Thank you to all those who have contributed or tried. I will put a final link when I have finished  the 26 poems to Birdlife International and explain the work they do.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A  Haiku for Jessica Rose

Stork’s beak with small sprog

Or sprig of eglantine rose.

Brings Spring to Autumn

There are wild roses at Navaselva and they delicately entwine themselves up some of the young trees. Often they grow on the edge of a tree line looking for light. The eglantine rose for me of Shakespearean fame, Rosa rubiginosa, or the dog rose, Rosa canina find places to flourish on our finca and have effective thorny defences. Rosa canina was known for possibly curing dog bites. There may be other types too and I will now need to investigate next Spring. It seems there are many roses by many different names and types of leaves to distinguish their species.  Perhaps the wild rose can be symbolic of the need for women to be both tough and tender as highlighted by Maya Angelou. Certainly pregnancy and birth can be tough times and then the tenderness of love for a new human and the need to protect.

As for storks I have to be honest I have not seen them near our woodland. But there are some that nest in the local villages. And further along the road to Portugal there are many storks that nest on the pylons and the trees by the river. When we visit the Doñana wetlands in January there are 100s of storks nesting in trees and plentiful supplies of food in the marshy borders and rice fields along the Guadalquivir river.

It seems that the legends about stork have ancient history from Egyptian and Greek times, although there seems to be some confusion over whether the spiritual birds of birth and rebirth, carrying souls were cranes, herons or storks. Another interesting stork legend was the association with oregano, a well-known healing herb with antibiotic qualities that storks were seen with in their beaks. Oregano grows abundantly at Navaselva and I swear by its healing properties.  I use it for my gums and for any sign of a sore throat. However, the stork in the haiku has a sprig of a wild rose in its large beak!

The main stork legend grew in Northern Europe when storks arrived in Spring and were seen as signs of hope and family fidelity. Hans Christian Andersen’s story ‘The Storks’ consolidated the tradition we love to keep of the stork bringing the baby.

I have adapted a poem I wrote some years ago about storks based on Yeats ‘The Wild Swans of Coole’ into my 26 word format.

This drawing of the stork comes from an art class with my friend the artist Ruth Konigsberger whose paintings and drawings often accompany these poems. The classes began before lockdown and have started up again and bring us all a joy as she is not just a wonderful artist but a very skilled teacher. Our focus was parallel perspective and dark and shade.

Poem 22 Storks in 26 words

Among what places the storks will build

Their hopes, on pylons or spires,

With God’s desires fulfilled

Where wonder never tires.

All prosper where they perch.

Stork in parallel perspective

Poem 20 And 21: Goodbye to Summer. Fly Well, Fly Safe.

It is the equinox, the official end of long summer days. It is thought that this rather than any change of temperature is the way the migrating birds know they must leave for Africa’s warmth and food. The swifts usually go in August but house martins often have a second brood and will leave as late as September. The bee-eaters gather together too around this time. At Navasola there have been storms so perhaps some are still waiting to go. Here are two poems to two of Navasola’s summer visitors. One who has become a character in my novel and this drawing of him by my artist friend Ruth. His name is Abe Apio and he flies north in a quest to find a cooler place for a Navaselva buff-tailed bumblebee.

By Ruth Konigsberger

Abe Apio the bee-eater of my dreams.

Abe Apio you never leave me

Your brightness stirs my words

As your story moves me to write

Of your struggle to save

Not just bees.

Red rump swallow recovering from being stunned and ready to fly off.

You Can Not Keep a Swallow in a Zoo

This child delights in her own toy zoo,

A gorilla and tiger stalking through

A mat of savannah tufted strands.

A plastic fence surrounds a zebra.

A lion lies down with a flamingo.

The sun beats through a round bay window

Of a neat corner house with stained glass

Swallows at the front door and on the wall.

All this made the warmth of summer kind

In a chilly northern seaside town.

And this child did not know

What she knows now.

You can not keep a swallow in a zoo.

Now she counts the swallows as so few fly by.

The ones with red rump feathers preened

Prefer these southern lands with barns,

And ruins of long ago times,

Where with martins and swifts.

Built nests under old tiled roofs.

With holes and  a rural disregard

For cleanliness that bleaches bare all life.

We thought some swallows might adorn our porch

But one hit a window and took a time

To fly again high enough to see

The windows of heaven

Where the ark is waiting.

Each poem conforms to my challenge to write 26 poems for the 26 miles of the London marathon which was not run this year and many charities have lost vital funds. A poem will either have 26 words and be haiku inspired or 26 lines. Each poem will be about different species found around Navasola.

My charity is the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and  their links with Birdlife International. Please help them help the birds that know no borders. Much work has gone on to protect habitats and raise awareness of the importance of birds to the balance of nature. The decline in bird numbers and in particular swallows is worrying.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blog

Poem 19. A Socially distanced hoopoe. Poetry challenge of 26 poems for Nature.

Hoopoe visiting Navasola in Autumn

Abubilla in Spanish, Upupa epops in Latin.

 

 

 So much is changing and Autumn is upon us again. This hoopoe visited close to the Navasola house last Autumn. Where has the year gone? Usually with lots of activity, things to do and most important people to see and be with. I am trying to catch up with that at the moment amidst covid anxieties and rules for ever changing. Perhaps we need to be wary like the wild ones are. This hoopoe stayed for a while and I enjoyed the time spent together but at a discreet distance and ‘glass’ barrier! I have been thinking of a collection of poems with ‘Sitting on a porch’ observations. But there are also quite a few from looking out of my writing sanctuary window. Rain should also be due next week in our Sierra and most welcome after fires raged south of us for days in the Almonaster region of Huelva.

 

From Through the Window Poems.

The Visit of the Hoopoe

I see you.

Through the window.

I do not usually see you.

Among the many resident birds.

And those that stay for summer.

You prefer the pines and grasslands.

 

Not out of the blue but into the green

You arrive to seek to survive

Flash of chestnut, almost unseen

By the wet rocks and moss

Your long beak, slender fills with life

Tiny ants, flitting flies, wriggling worms

Ready to die to give strength to you.

Beneath the Autumn mulch, much squirms

Through the window our eyes follow

Your chestnut feathers, black white bars

A round eye looking, a crown on head

To show you are one of nature’s stars.

You stop to look,to listen hard, to us perhaps?

Trying not to disturb your path through grass

We stumble to remember your elegant steps,

We must focus on and zoom through glass.

 

Unseen, a barrier between us and the wild that visit

A bird on a journey to a better place

A sudden encounter so camera not ready

But still we draw in so close to your eyes.

I have not yet reached my target. Please help me help nature in these uncertain and challenging times.

 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blog

Poem 17: Chestnuts and Cleaning Up; 26 poem challenge

Pollarded old chestnuts supply lots of fallen branches.

This poem is a reflection on our very old chestnut tree orchards and the need to ‘clean’ up between the spaced trees. For many years I have left lots of areas to just grow and little chestnut forests abound. A well spaced orchard is in contrast to the way trees grow in a wild forest. As always thanks to Dverse poets who rekindled my muse some years ago. There are always good poems to discover there and inspiring prompts. https://dversepoets.com

 

 

An abandoned and ancient chestnut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chestnut Orchards and Wild Forest

How does the ancient chestnut feel, on its own,

Without its young growing up around it?

For centuries, it keeps on trying to not die alone.

Trees planted out at even spaces in the wrong places.

In between  too much light not shade

For the new chestnuts to be made.

The trees own sweet fruit must delve down deep

And grow the root, the stem, the leaf.

But the young are cursed and must be cleaned

For never will it grow the fruit we want to eat.

Old chestnut trees in the Sierra Aracena

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wild now grows between those planted trees,

Unkempt, unruly, a wide variety of lives

Breathing, green but dirty children

For  here  wild abandon thrives,

Tall thin pine, brushed thick ivy vine,

Arbutus Unedo with red fruit, wild glow

Light metal viburnum berries, turpentine

And thin young chestnuts take their time.

Tree time and the old ones no longer weep

As they feel the roots  meet up in the deep.

Jungle with thorns on finca

 

 

 

 

 

 

To call the land dirty when it is full of green

‘Su ci o*’ may  sound sweeter to the ear

Than the one that rings with unclean

And all the range of life we love to ‘lim pi o’*

 

Forgive us trees as we do not know

How to live and how to grow.

Chestnut flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am slowing down on the 26 poems so might need to speed up. There is always plenty to write about at Navasola and plenty to do! The heat is in abeyance and has gone to London where it is hotter than Seville. Trees could be our saviours in this climate race to the hottest places, especially the oldest ones. But with threats in the Amazon again of worse fires and the proposed destruction in India of an ancient forest in order to mine poor grade  coal ahttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/08/india-prime-minister-narendra-modi-plans-to-fell-ancient-forest-to-create-40-new-coal-field

And of course in the U.K. ancient trees are felled for the HS2 train link which will cut a journey time by half an hour but destroy some of the little ancient woodland we have left here.

We must be hopeful and active in this struggle for the heart of nature. Please help a nature charity  by sponsoring my challenge and it will keep me going!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blog

 

* sucio is Spanish for ‘dirty’ and wild, abandoned areas are referred to by this word. Limpio is the word for clean. And so instead of clearing as we do in English we clean the land. In reality we destroy a lot of habitats for our attempts at farming.

 

Reforestation needed, old chestnut trees in abandoned woods

Poem 18: I Will Never Beat the Bracken; A memory of April 2020 Spanish lockdown.

 

Wild Flower meadow

This poem is based on my April lockdown experience  in ‘splendid isolation’ at Navasola in Southern Spain and working outside close to nature.  I also wrote poetry and responded to a poetry competition on ‘Winning’. I didn’t expect to win but it was worth penning this poem. I have adapted it to my form of 26 lines for my 26 poem poetry challenge.

Here it is for Open Link Night at https://dversepoets.com/. Linda  presents this  prompt with the reminder that this was the day the Rolling Stones released their single ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’ in 1965. Great memories!

‘You can’t always get what you want,but if you try, sometimes, you might find, you get what you need’ The Rolling Stones

I thought I wanted wild flower meadows instead of tall bracken but I got much needed exercise and distraction from pandemic anxieties!

 

I will never beat the bracken. 

The bracken has grown taller than me in just two days.

It seems that now my role in life is to beat this thing,

That leaves little space for wild flowers to grow.

A man fangled machine, at first, refuses to start.

Will I ever beat the bracken back with just a scythe.

A spluttered choke and I begin but will not win

Against the roots that run so deep within

Wet, red, leaf littered soil where chestnuts grow

So well, till drought dries out, and then

Another battle begins.

Who wins when no rain falls?

 

I control the blade

To not cut down in prime of life,

Stars of Bethlehem and Solomon’s Seal

Along this track to some forgotten Calvary

Where nature is the sacrifice.

When I retire at close of day,

I know who will return.

The owl for sure as now the way is clear

To kill the mouse with no shelter near.

The spanish robin too, just like our own

Keeps an eye on what is now laid bare.

The wild boar will come and plough

Without the thorny bramble there.

 

With these thoughts I win acclaim

But lose the game.

 

Star of Bethlehem

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not want to be so far from family during the lockdown but there was little choice so I enjoyed the time spent working outside  and trying to cut back bracken and brambles in order to have some fire plan in a wild and overgrown valley.  In my head I wanted to protect old chestnut trees and the house, but I did not want to cut any flowers already growing as these would help in creating a wild flower meadow. Clearing bracken and brambles  makes it easier to pick the chestnuts that fall in late October.

Wild solomon’s seal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some win and some lose in this conservation game.

The link to sponsor my poetry challenge is on the previous post if you would like to donate to conservation charities that help restore nature.

 

 

Poem 16: The Madroño Tree and the Two Tail Pasha; 26 Poem Challenge.

Greetings to all and to Dverse Poets on their 8th anniversary. Am linking this to open link night with Mish; https://dversepoets.com/   And really pleased to find Earthweal and their challenges with a nature focus; https://earthweal.com/

Life coming out of lockdown in Spain has been interesting and busy in many ways as we can now decide to go out more and visit friends and family.  Some normality but also it is very strange and strained too. We hope all is going well for so many of you in many different places.

There has also been more work to do on the finca as we finally been able to have help from others. There have been some blessings in our retreat from society but  sadness too as we are personally  touched by loss and at another loss as we watch and read too much incompetent managing of a health crisis.

.This poem on my 26 poem challenge is structured around my form of 26 lines, 12 for the tree and 12 for the butterfly and two finishing lines to comment on both. It is based on our experience of having to cut back some trees from the house and knowledge of butterfly habitats and the plants and trees they need.

The Madroño Tree and the Two Tail Pasha

Arbutus Unedo, Strawberry tree, Madroño

Today is trim time for trees

But not scissor light snips

More motor power and deep cuts

Ear muffs on for heavy chain whirs

If you could only keep your fine fans

Of branches away from our earth tiled roof

I would not feel the hurt of habitat loss

The screams of the leaves as they dash

Against the cool cement white rendered walls

The birds will not be pleased

Nor the butterfly that some call

The foxy emperor or Pasha.

 

 

Two Tail Pasha, Charaxes jasius, El Baja or Cuatro Colas. ( 4 tails!)

Here you must lay your eggs

To hatch into the worm with two horns.

 

 

 

How do you know this tree is best?

You do not need a nest

To carefully care as each of yours

Must hatch alone. Make its own munch

Through tough leaves.

Tough lives taken at the point of a beak

Or hang cocooned for days

Till horns transform, two tails of wings emerge.

So bright, so fair, move me to gasp

At change so rare.

 

From dark places, burst leaves, break wings.

Reach out for life, lived briefly, in the light.

 

Two tailed pasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the ongoing climate crisis my poetry challenge is to help conservation charities restore nature and prevent biodiversity loss. We must have more trees and wild places. It will help us too.

I know there are a lot of struggling charities at the moment but if you can support my efforts I and theRSPB/BirdLife International would be grateful. I am halfway through now and every little helps me write more!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blog

 

Poem 15. The Pond and a Shining Moment. 26 poem challenge.

This is a poem about our pond which took a long time to create but now gives a lot of joy and a habitat for many and drinking water for the birds and bees. It is also inspired by Lilian’s haibun prompt for Dverse poets and for open link night. Hope all Dverse poets have a good summer break and a Happy Anniversary for July 13 th. Thanks for all the inspiration.

The haibun form consists of 3 short authentic paragraphs, not fiction and completed with a haiku. Lilian gives some interesting advice on using a kiku , a nature/ time/ season key word, followed by an insight. https://dversepoets.com/2020/06/22/traditional-writing-on-a-shining-topic/

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pond and a Shining Moment

The thin walls of the old house crumbled as the digger gently pushed. Stronger wider ones needed to be built to hold up a new roof. The man with the digger was only hired for two days but he was willing to dig out a hole for a pond for an extra 80 euros. We jumped at the offer. We wanted a wildlife pond. There was no running stream here, all the water was underground, sinking fast through sandy soil in the torrential rains after months of Mediterranean drought. The pond was excavated and then I decided to dig, deeper and wider and bring wheelbarrows full of good deep soil to my new vegetable plot up the hill. An open air muscle building gym.

The pond was downhill but became an uphill struggle. For two years it filled with rain water and the second year was so full and overflowing in May but by September was drained and the lining destroyed. Wild boar had one too many mud baths with tusk marks slashed through plastic. A new plan was devised of a boarproof fence, similar to the one around my vegetable garden. There was also so much wild plum growing that without removal this area would become a dense thicket. We worked to clear and have been rewarded with a meadow of wild flowers and the beginnings of more life in the pond with its now very expensive aquatic liner. We hoped for the croak of frogs.

His joy this lockdown spring has been to walk down from the house to the pond. His walk now is slower, unsteady. A virus, some years back, perhaps produced this change. Or so the experts say, but they do not really know. Once able to walk far and work on our new roof, now, he struggles to walk any distance. But the pond beckons, and with binoculars and a fence to lean on, he looks intently around. First he spotted one frog and then another. They seemed to be keeping their distance. At last shining, shimmering in the light, perfectly camouflaged with their dark green back stripe, they have their moment, and we have ours.

Light falls on Lily
Bees buzz: slippery limbs
Entwine hold hope tight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will include this in my 26 poetry poem as a habitat for a variety of species including the Iberian frog, plenty of pond skaters, beetles, a lily and other water plants, reeds, dragonflies and lots of bees. The pond has attracted the birds for water and baths, including a flycatcher or papamoscas in Spanish. Around the pond there is now a real variety of many wild flowers.

Thanks again to Dverse poets who reignited my love of writing and playing with poetry.

I am half way through my challenge and half way to my charity target. Please follow the Just giving link if you would like to sponsor me on behalf of a wildlife, nature charity. The RSPB and Birdlife International.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blogs

26 Poem Challenge. Wings in the Woods. Poems 10 to 14

There are brown birds, blackbirds, multicoloured birds, white birds. Sometimes it is the brown birds that are easily overlooked, not colourful enough. But when you look closely, the browns are so varied and so beautifully marked, full of different tones and hues, perfectly adapted to their life in the woods.

This post is in memory of George Floyd who can no longer be with us to hear the winged creatures of our wounded world. May he be at rest and his family find solace in God, friendships, the beauty of nature and justice.

And there is a link to an article that I found very moving published in Sierra Club,an old established American conservation organisation. We have to understand and act against the kinds of thinking that allows our natural world to be destroyed and for many brown and black lives to not matter throughout the world.
https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/racism-killing-planet

To the beauty of the brown bird whose name we do not know. A japanese style painting by Ruth Koenigsberger.

 

These are poems about some of our local birds seen from our porch. All woodland birds but very wild, cautious, shy perhaps and not easy to photo. The serin stayed just long enough balanced on a thin stem of wild cress that was left on our ‘lawn’ for pollinators to enjoy. And they did gather. We wish we saw more but we hear them and then they hide if we start to look for them. Wild birds do not seem to like eyes staring at them.

 

 

On Not seeing the birds for the trees
Somewhere in the woods
Behind a branch, beyond our gaze.
Birds are heard
If you dare to fix your eyes
Let the leaves dazzle your days.

 

10. Blue Tit or Herrerillo in Spanish, Parus caeruleus in latin

What’s in a name?
A titter or two?
But not in Spain
Where more rare
the tiny herrerillo
Is a sight to see.
To paint perhaps.

Blue tit by Ruth Koenigsberger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Redstart, Colirojo real in Spanish, Phoenicurus phoenicurus in latin
N
ot seen for so long
You fly into our life for water.

Fresh feathers feel cleansed.

Dash of red dips and dives.

Stay a moment more.

 

12. Goldfinch,  Jilguero in Spanish, Carduelis carduelis in latin
Gilded gloss on olive trunk
I see you for the first time.
Once you lived in pines
B graves of the long dead
In a far off place.

 

13. Firecrest, Reyezuelo in Spanish, Regulus ignicapilus in latin
Slow flight up each branch
Of the young cork you dart
Looking for something
That you will find
And I will not.

 

14. Serin, Verdecillo in Spanish Serinus serinus in latin
Hello, who are you?
Upon the fine stem
How do you pose,
unswaying, long enough?
Camera shaken, book taken
To discover the name
You already knew.

Serin on cress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to sponsor me on this 26 poem challenge the link is below and on the previous poems too. These poems are all written in my 26 word format. This time more freestyle than haiku and other Japanese forms with certain syllables to each line.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blog

26 Poems. Poem 9. Vultures thrive in Andalucian Skies

 

 

 

 

 

Vultures

My first encounter with this most alarming bird

Was from a rickshaw, bald heads gathering around a corpse

A photo taken, a memory forgotten, no remorse

Until those eyes met mine and I finally heard.

Perfectly poised to penetrate death

A holy land where human harm leaves only dog

To scavenge the remains of a very manmade mess

The vultures gone to save the sacred cows distress

Slow painful death by inner unknown toxic smog.

Perfectly poisoned by human kind

And then a vulture of a different kind arose

Above the canyons of an ancient world made new

Condors with wingspans lifting in the thermal flows

Photos to remind us that now they too are few.

Perfect flight, sight, smell to search out death

Within a classroom Africa’s vultures I undermine.

Love of a feathered mate counts the human cost

To pass exams, context, effect, unthread that line

Where one key word shouts out what has been lost.

Perfect partners raising young

Here, the vultures rise again in Spanish skies

Mostly griffon with pointed feathered wings

Black, maybe, if really large, the vulture kings

Alive, hanging on that human thread that tries.

Love protecting life

>

This poem is about my own encounters with vultures, from my early years in India, where I took many sights for granted as vultures were so common then and such perfect scavengers. In my middle years I had a wonderful trip with my daughters to Peru where we saw condors in the Colca Canyon. In my teaching years the poem Vultures by Chinua Achebe would haunt me, not because of the vultures but because of the concentration camp name which none of our students had heard of. English lessons then would become history lessons too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vultures_(poem)

Vultures are endangered and face many threats, electrocution, poisoning, loss of habitat, and in India because there was no awareness why the vulture population was dying off until the link bewtween drugs given to sacred cows was found to be lethal for vultures.

Here in our Andalucian skies we can see vultures above our house. Some may be the very endangered black vultures from the Aroche colony, or more likely the griffon vultures, which from one of the links seems to suggest there has been some conservation success because of the joint efforts of different groups and laws to protect these amazing birds.

https://www.4vultures.org/2019/01/29/a-2018-survey-of-griffon-vultures-in-andaluc%C3%ADa-reveals-the-population-continues-to-grow-across-the-region/

The poem has been constructed according to my 26 poem challenge for the conservation charity the RSPB who also support Birdlife International. There are 26 lines but the italicised lines are also 26 words in praise of the important place vultures have in nature and in human lives. The feral dogs in India that have moved in to take over the place of vultures are more dangerous to humans than vultures have ever been.

If you wish to donate to my challenge the link is below.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georginas-26-challenge-i-am-going-to-write-26-poems-about-the-wild-flora-and-fauna-here-on-our-woodland-finca-in-spain-i-will-post-these-on-my-blog

Nature needs Nurture

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