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From the Mouths of Babes

Earthwatch Europe

Partner organisation of the Watches

Earthwatch Europe launched a poetry competition for schools and individuals as part of a range of events to help families cope with lockdown and remain connected to nature, including a popular online programme of indoor and outdoor learning activities called Wild Days. Michaela Strachan led the panel of judges, which included Nick Baker, Bella Lack and Mya-Rose Craig. Here are the winners from each category, which give a beautiful insight into how children are connecting with nature in difficult times.

Image by Tony Beyga

George for Edith Moorhouse School: Take the time to notice

Take the time to notice,
Nature at its best,
Everything so peaceful
The world is at rest.

The sunlit sky so blue,
The aromatic air so clear,
The powerless pollution is low,
Although the pandemic is severe.

The blossom it dances,
As the gentle breeze blows,
Nature at its finest,
As all the flowers grow.

The neighbourhood is so quiet,
But still life goes swiftly by,
People’s emotions all over the place
Even the clouds-they cry.

Nature is finally able to breathe,
As things seem so much more pure,
When all this over and life returns back,
With much more appreciation I'm sure.

All the stars they glisten and dance,
Look up search the night sky,
Look up with care to see true beauty,
Shooting stars ‘whoosh’ passing by.

Take the time to notice,
You never know what you may see,
Cascading stars light the night sky,
Silence wraps itself around me.

The silence it whispers,
Whispers through the trees,
The world has awoken,
Beauty, birds and the bees.

Image by Anthony Pope

Archie Bowes, age 7: A-Z Challenge

Find an animal for every letter,
That was the challenge I had,
But as I live in Great Britain
That wasn’t so bad.
I wanted to start with aardvark
But they’re extremely hard to see
So instead I went for an adder
Which in Dorset is pretty easy.
The adder is a venomous snake
Whose body can be yellow and grey.
He has a long sleek body
Which curls round every day
If you ask me, an awesome A!

Image by Suzy jh

Lucy Farrell, age 10: Urban Birds

Satin black wing of Starling
You are the urban beauty, my darling
Grouped together to make a flock
To the naked eye a shape-shifting mock
Car alarms, real or trick?
Phones ringing to take the mick

With a special bill to extract seeds from teasle or thistle
Flying in the sky singing in a melody-filled whistle
Goldfinch, with a red head and a gold wing
When it flits through the sky it starts to sing
Its favourite food is nyjer seed
On this teeny-tiny feast it begins to feed

The adult has a yellow ring around its eye
The adult male's feathers black as the midnight sky
First to wake, first to sing, first to rise
And that pure song echoes across the dawn skies
Dawn Chorister, your song is sweet and true
Blackbird's silhouette, against pink streaked across blue

Santa's helper and a favourite of the Christmas card
To shoo off other birds, it is not hard
With a small, beady eye and a red breast
Throughout the year its voice does not rest
Conqueror of the feeder, keeper of the bird table
To bully away birds hoping for a meal, Robin is quite able

Awestruck, I watched the Peregrine Falcon, haunter of the pigeon's dreams
Thunderstruck, that comical clapper has had it, as its feathers fall as a stream
No more are the pigeon's cries
Silenced by the Ruler of the Urban skies
Fierce frown, piercing peer, Peregrine Falcon stare
When it sees an unfortunate feast, it soon turns on that glare

Aryan Kaul, age 14: Forest Life

In a dense forest
Trees speak in simple tongues
Of creaking and groaning.

Talking, swaying
In a carpet of bluebells
Soft with freedom of
Centuries and centuries.

The chainsaw,
The digger,
Logger and chopper;
Never reaching
Those old, wise trees,
Undisturbed and happy.

The lone woodpecker watches,
Pecks and hides
And screams at the setting sun
For changing the colour
Of the skies.

The bushes on the floor,
In their impatience, they rustle.
There’s someone there, there’s someone watching,
But it’s just the tired wind.

And those huge trees,
They throw their heads back
And dive down
Into a deep forests’ slumber.

The forest life goes
And the quiet comes with it;
Time stops
For these creatures
Until the next day comes,
And the trees speak again.

To see all the runners up and find out more about Earthwatch Europe, check out their website.

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