Sorry from A-Z

With thanks to Gary Kowalski

We mourn for the Earth and its lost creatures,
and we are sorry from A to Z –
for Atlas Bears, Arabian Ostriches, and Ascension Island Rails;
for Big-eared Hopping Mice, Bush Wrens, and Broad-faced Potoroos;
for Caribbean Monk Seals, Chatham Island Penguins, Cuban Red Macaws,
and Carolina Parakeets;
for Dodos, Deepwater Ciscos, Dusky Seaside Sparrows;
Eyle’s Harriers, Elephantbirds, and Eastern Hare Wallabies;
Four-coloured Flowerpeckers and Falkland Island Foxes;
for Great Auks, Golden Toads, and Grass Valley Speckled Dace;
Huias, Haast’s Eagles, and Honshu Wolves;
the Ibexes of Portugal and the Pyrenees;
for Jordan’s Coursers and Jamaica’s Least Pauraques;
Koa Finches, King Island Emus, Labrador Ducks, and Laughing Owls;
for Mamos, Mauritius Red Hens, and Mysterious Starlings;
New Zealand Greater Short-tailed Bats and Oahu O’os;
for Passenger Pigeons, Paradise Parrots, and Pig-footed Bandicoots;
Quaggas and Red Sea Seals, Ratas Island Lizards, and Rodrigues Solitaires;
for Steller’s Sea Cows, Slender Moas, and Spectacled Cormorants;
for Tarpans and Thylacines; the Tigers of Java, Bali, and the Caspian;
for Ula-ai-Hawanes, Cry Violets, White-winged Sandpipers, and
White-footed Rabbit Rats; the Wrens of St. Stephen Island –
Xenicus Lyalli.
Extinct, all of them, and many more besides, gone beyond recall
because of us, the species that leaves no room for others.
We should mourn them, along with
Yangtse River Dolphins, Yellowfin Cut-throat Trout, and
Zosterops Strenuae – the lost White-eyes of Lord Howe Island.

We are sorry, good Earth, that we have destroyed so much –
beautiful and bizarre, poetic and prosaic, famous and unknown – and we are sorry from A to Z.

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