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This poem was written especially for Dr Brian May by Richard Bonfield in September 2013.
He is the poet in residence for 'Born Free'.

Read by Virginia McKenna.
The atmospheric keyboard backing track was composed and played by Dr Brian May.

'Badgers'

by Richard Bonfield

There is of course, the scientific badger, that lives inside a thesis
And looks out of a mullioned window, his glass eyes staring from a glass case
And then, away across the snowy fields, there is the badger in the wild wood
Who has ham hocks hanging from smoke blackened rafters
And a gruff but kindly manner, to all carol singing dormice

And then, there is the badger of my own imagination, the snow plough of the stars
Who lives his life against the constellations, waxing as we are waning
Arriving as we are departing, developing in a shaft of (unknown) moonlight
Just behind the Cottingley fairies and Bottom's rude mechanicals
As he shuffles across the ardent stage clattering amongst the (unknown) shrouded arc lights

He has been with us since the skirts of the last ice age departed
And before this, he lived alongside Boxgrove man
We are entwined, as the roots of the greenwood, he goes with the territory
His address can be found in Doomsday, Mr Brock of Brackendale
Seventh wednesdays scratched in runes on his (unknown) hill door

He is part of our landscape, just as much as the woods and the weather
And lives in his inverted stately home which is always being added to or subtracted from
Depending on window taxes and high interest loans

Facing us, he's carved from the night, like a Celtic totem in the chalk
A face drawn with sparklers, a living buick woodcut, dreaming from the darkness
To the badger, the moon is a silver sun, the arc light of his silverscreen world
Where all is fifty shades of grey and smell reveals the light of day
The night tracks through the summer hay, the mist (unknown) of the bluebell way

If we could eavesdrop on his world, and watch the badger's life unfurl
We'd find that family is the thing, and burrowing and tunnelling
Spaghetti loops for every meal and peanuts which they love to steal
That play is central to a life whose backdrop is the starry night
That love is acting centre stage, oblivious of mankind's rage
Which would deny the badger's life and make of him a greenwood Christ
By hanging him upon a tree for all his trumped up perfidy

Be thankful then that he has friends
Who work to make this torture end
And let the badger's family be
Beneath the spreading chestnut tree


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Badger Photograph: Copyright Jason Steel
Used with permission & acknowledged with thanks

Logo badger image: Copyright Martin Kessel
Used with permission & acknowledged with thanks

Copyright Norma Kearton 2013 - 2017





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