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Lost City

Snap Notts: Attenborough Nature Reserve

26 July 18 words: Panya Banjoko
photos: Stephanie Webb

This month's latest installment of Snap Notts - the series where photographers and poets are paired up and sent to an area to get inspired... 

Man Made Reserve

In the beginning, there was the machine

and the machine mined the limestone.

When it had scraped the gravel pits lean,

until there was nothing but dust,

it ceased its anger.


On the second day, after the machine had rest,

Man said, let there be water.

And water filled the scooped out ponds

until the land was fixed so it looked like lakes.


On the third day, Man said, let there be carp

and the common carp entered the water,

splattered the wet as it see-sawed and sloshed,

the carp it did multiply amongst the crayfish,

otter and perch.


On the fourth day, the hibiscus

and dandelions reclaimed the earth,

they drank heartily, thrived like worker bees in hives.

On this day, the blue butterflies paraded the land,

by day they fluttered,

at night they perched on the underside of leaves.


On the fifth and sixth days,

the grasshoppers, willow tits and tree sparrows came,

so did the insects of every species,

they flooded the land in a hurry,

cradled the wetlands in their wake.


By the seventh day, the reserve was complete,

full of mallards and warblers, dragonflies and more.

Man said, for now you can all stay.


Nature looked at him, shook its head

and said, ahh Men!

The Sermon Of Nature

Blessed are the ants like knights in armour

for they devour the eggs of troublesome insects.


Blessed be the worm, who thank the ants for their battle,

for they toil in the soil, watch as the frogs croak.


Blessed are the frogs, sometimes mistaken for toads,

for without them the mosquitos would invade the land.


Blessed are the mosquitos that swarm the ponds

for they remind us that blood can be drawn, and is often shed.


Blessed are the ponds and all the life that lay within

for they are the wetlands that offer the insects a home.

Psalm 151 Panya Banjoko’s Version (PBV)

151 The water vole is a rodent; Who shall question?

2 She makes her nest on the border: plops in the still water.

3 Yea, though she burrows on the brink of the bank, leaves muddy

tracks in view, she loves the murky depths.

4 She keeps her home clean; marks her territory with her latrine.

5 Though her robe be shiny, sometimes brown and sometimes regal

black she is still the prey for heron, stoat and eagle.

6 Her time may be short upon the land, five months brief, yet still

she replenishes her stock quite freely.

7 Surely the water vole is worthy of praise: as she leaves a v-shaped

wake in her trail.

Worker Bees

We feed and we clean all for the queen

waiting to lay the eggs.

We stomp on the flowers for hours and hours

make pollen that sticks to our legs.

When the work’s done

there’s still not much fun

as we stand, for days, on guard.

A thousand of us, never a fuss

the life of a drone ain’t as hard.

The Green Chair

Let me be your place to rest

as you search this land for solace

your trusty seat in a world of despair

your burden I will gladly share.

Two's Company...

Even apart

they know

one without

the other

Is only half.


Are we not all fragile shells

some easier to crack than others,

but do we not all crack

                                    in the end.

When looking over the horizon...


how short is our time to breathe

and how long it takes for us to forget.

We have a favour to ask…

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