Gone now, their light was spent
Before we walked the earth
To claim them beautiful.
No feather-colour fossils
Reflect their once-owned sunlight;
No field guide captured their unknowable
Strange-plumage dance on younger continents.
They must have felt the birth-urge
And their genes catapulting towards oblivion
Were all; in a spring of green earth music
As images of their last
And futile making-time
Left softly on their forever journey
Towards a gentle emptiness of distant
Flowers of light.
And their sun-discovered uniqueness,
Wryneck subtle or sunbird-gaudy,
Snatched from the smashed palette
Of their awesome creation.
And a million species extinct now,
Not just odd-balls:
Too trusting, too large or too rare,
But all those which could not adapt
To the changing canvass of a forgotten time.
Their colours space-rainbows in eternity,
Their light strange quasars someday.