Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

Amazon Jungle After Alfred Tennyson The Brook


By mangrove swamps I idle round,
my canopy's world wonder,
leafcutter ants beneath the ground
where three toed sloths would wander.

Tall forest Tarzan never knew
from ground grows great, colossal.
My ecosystem filters through
sward broadleaf basin fossil.

I wind about, and in and out,
with here a silted delta,
an anaconda round about
observes the helter-skelter.

Pass here and there a native hut
pirogues moored to lianas,
with cataracts which canyons cut
mid mangroves and bananas.

I link all life all along my route,
but scoff at lilly-liver,
some men pollute both tree and root -
for them who cares a stiver.

I'd slide by lazing jaguars
admired by nature lovers,
lush greens, blush browns flushed far from bars,
barred are crass concrete covers.

I turn, return, upstream and down,
here deep, there sleep in shallows,
wild orchid winning wonder's crown:
soon jungle man's trace swallows.

Six thousand kilometers long
from Andes to Atlantic
my tributaries maze among
an area gigantic.

I'd flourish under moon and stars
an Eden no machetes
can cut down, with no motor cars,
few churches, no confettis.

My birds and monkeys most hirsute
cry by the flowing river,
though men pollute both tree and root,
Time is the best forgiver.

Lush leaf dome's home to serpent, fruits,
pollution pleases never,
Men's ill repute themselves confutes
while I'll grow green for ever...

For five and fifty million years
my fiber feelers flexing
have followed flood flow, snubbed frontiers,
Man's attitude perplexing.

One pours on heartless human ways,
greed's petty sharps and trebles:
heed! trouble bubble piper pays
pollution's golden pebbles.

Immoral and illicit mines
monstrosities metallic,
mercurial man now spews, refines:
conduct anencephallic.

Vast torrent's pure transparent flow
once glowed - before greed fever:
now brash men cash hunt, rash, come, go,
naught can grow up for ever.

Frogs chortled over leafy way,
'bove turtles, carps, joy croaking,
where jaguar at sunset lay -
now last survivor's croaking.

Men burn my basin, fell my trees
for timber for poor housing,
where once was bird song, beauty, bees,
now here drunk men carousing.

I stem as Amazon offline,
pirahnas my stems lining,
but some regret that Auld Lang Syne
when evergreens are pining.

Men chatter, chatter, fight, dispute,
they're takers, I life giver,
but men pollute both tree and root,
while banking on the river.

(After Alfred Tennyson The Brook 22 April 2010 revised 10 February 2012)

I stem from Amazon offline,
pirhanas my stems lining,
but some regret that Auld Lang Syne
when evergreens are pining.

By mangrove swamps I idle round,
my canopy's a wonder,
leafcutter ants beneath the ground
where three toed sloths would wander.

Till by illegal mines I grow
or grew - before greed's fever -
where brash men cash hunt, rash, come, go,
naught can grow up for ever.

Frogs chortled over leafy way,
'bove little carps joy croaking,
where jaguar at sunset lay -
now last survivor's croaking.

Men burn my acres, cut my trees
for timber for your housing,
where once was birds song, beauty, bees,
now here drunk men carousing.

I wonder over heartless ways,
man's little sharps and trebles,
greed's bubble swiftly piper pays
hopes burst on golden pebbles.

Men chatter, chatter, fight, dispute,
they're takers, I life giver,
but men pollute both tree and root,
while banking on the river.

I wind about, and in and out,
with here a silted delta,
an anaconda round about
observes the helter-skelter.

Pass here and there a native hut
pirogues moored to lianas,
with cataracts which canyons cut
mid mangroves and bananas.

I link all life all along my route,
but scoff at lilly-liver,
some men pollute both tree and root -
for them who cares a stiver.

I slide by lazing jaguars,
admired by nature lovers
Iush greens and browns all free from bars
and crass grey concrete covers..

I turn, return, upstream and down,
here deep and there in shallows,
wild orchid winning wonder's crown
soon jungle man's trace swallows.

I flourish under moon and stars
an Eden no machetes
can cut down, with no motor cars,
few churches, no confettis.

My birds and monkeys most hirsute
cry by the flowing river,
though men pollute both tree and root,
Time is the best forgiver.

Lush leaf dome's home to serpent, fruit,
pollution pleases never,
Men's ill repute themselves confutes
while I'll grow green for ever.

(After Alfred Tennyson The Brook 22 April 2010)

The Brook
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

Submitted: Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Edited: Thursday, February 09, 2012


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