Malcolm Henshall


My environment, a cul-de-sac.
A pleasant place,
away from the hubbub
of the noisy streets.
Good, helpful neighbours,
a place full of light,
greenery and laughter.
Another cul-de-sac, larger,
dark, claustrophobic, a dead-end
stands at the head of our land.
Those that live in its most expensive, privileged houses,
those that control the purse strings
are not good neighbours.
From their heated homes
and well-stocked larders
they do not help those who struggle
to heat or eat.
They take pride in the food banks,
as another photo opportunity,
rather than hold their heads in shame.
They talk as if we are on a through road
to the sunny uplands of their propaganda,
rather than understand that they must do a

Inside the Dept for the Environment

Squirreling away at the Badger preservation desk,
“May all our squirrels be red”, says leftie Angela.
Beavering away in the save the hedgehog corner
Bill gets a little prickly at his lack of progress.
The clerks look bewildered, flooded by problems,
corroded by the polluted political air,
floundering like fish in the privately owned sewage,
off our beautiful beaches.
The troublesome Scots wanting independence
so they can save their wild cats.
A lot of nattering about the Jack Toad.
Too much noise about
fisheries, flooding, food and forestry.
Hazel, of Tunbridge Wells, going nutty
about her beloved Dormice.
And waste management?
Those behind closed doors,
in the pay of the money men,
recycle their ideas but remain
a waste of time management.
They, in their suits, will not become extinct
though their ideas are ready for the tip,
going about their seedy work in the dark,
like the grey long-haired bat.
The poison and broken promises
that spill from their mouths,
like the pesticides on our foods.
May the trees and bees, not Truss, preserve us and our environment
and may she and her breed become endangered.

Malcolm Henshall

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