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Green Poems for a Blue Planet

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Green Poems for a Blue Planet front cover

By Martin Kiszko, illustrated by Nick Park 
Redcliffe Press, £9.99

The poems in Martin Kiszko's Green Poems for a Blue Planet cross the spectrum from humour to pathos to give fresh perspectives on environmental themes, both ordinary and extraordinary.

Screwed Up, for example, is a poem about a downtrodden piece of litter, the opening verse: "I'm a screwed up piece of litter / Looking for a mate, / And any kind of homely bin / Where we can propagate."

On a grander scale, a Whale of a Tale, tells the true story of the Bottlenose Whale that tragically swam up the Thames in 2006: "If only the song of the whale could be played / From the mouth of the river to call her back home. / But such notions were futile since boats on the Thames / Drowned any music the scientists made."

Brilliantly illustrated by Nick Park of Aardman Animations, the book will appeal to both children and adults.

To give a flavour of Martin's poetry, the poem My Natural History is published here, in full.

My Natural History

Illustration by Nick Park

    I took the path by the factory
    Flanked by industrial towers.
    I saw no cloud, no tree, no beast,
    No fish, no bird, no flower.

    I took the path through the smoke stacks,
    Hazy with vapour and smog.
    I saw no bee, no butterfly,
    No squirrel on a log.

    I took the path to the city streets,
    I saw no smiling face,
    No playful run or leap or hop,
    No playground game or race.

    I took the path by the highway
    Where my heartbeat could not be heard.
    The bustle of life was full volume,
    Overpowering whisper or word.

    I took the path where the wild things are,
    I laughed with the crow and the frog.
    I danced in a glade of bluebells
    With the dandelion and dock.

    I took the path to deep woodland,
    Through mazes of bramble and weed.
    I wandered a track that ended
    At a jungle of bracken and reed.

    And there at the heart of wilderness,
    Like a lost or hidden child,
    Were the roots of my natural history:
    What it was like to be wild.

Poem and illustrations © 2013 Martin Kiszko and Nick Park (all rights reserved)

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