Tuesday Poem – The Silence of Drought

Out in the tide we stand and listen.

Listen to the sound of no birds singing

of insects gone quiet

of the distant burr of machinery.

There is a faint sniff of smoke in the air

from Nelson’s forest fires.

A bee is dying on the sand

close by

a pool of salt water.

(c) Helen McKinlay

These words came about because I have been increasingly disturbed by the eerie silence at the beach each day. The weather dry and still. Usually there are so many small sounds from birds and insects that I take them for granted and had to stop and think ‘what is missing’?  And yes bees and most other insects who live on land, need a good supply of fresh water.

My granddaughter found a small bird comatose in my garden. We gave it some water and it perked up and flew away. I’m so glad she learned this lesson. It is so easy to ignore the needs of this earth and its non human creatures.  I am ashamed to say it is only in recent years that I have thought seriously about insects and birds needing fresh water. And as for birds, as far as I know only a few sea birds can drink salt water.

Speaking for myself,  have been lucky to have fresh water mostly always available somewhere not too far away, plus, I have been evacuated several times in my life due to flooding. And no doubt in a few months I will be complaining about the heavy rains, not the lack of them. Well I hope I will! Meanwhile I am making sure there are wet places in my garden for insects and birds.  Our monthly rainfall rate at present is 0.8milimetres!

It is a known fact that insect numbers are decreasing worldwide. See this article in The Guardian