Three Percent

Inspired by the sad fact that the UK has only 3% of the wildflower meadows it had in the 1940s. 

There were once a hundred kingdoms
Each with a hundred colours
Each with a hundred homes
Each with a hundred dwellers
And each of the hundred dwellers
Spread a hundred blessings
And each Of the hundred kingdoms
Had a hundred songs

But each of the hundred kingdoms
Was in the hands of one man
And most of the men
Did not see the blessings
Found no joy in the colours
Did not hear the song
Did not see that this kingdom
With its blessings
Was what his life depended on

The hundred dwindled
And dwindled more
The song reduced
The blessings shrunk
The colours blazed, but fewer shone
And quieter quieter became the song

And so it went, a slow decline
Life less varied over time
The hundred shrank by half, and more
Until one day there were only four,
Four kingdoms with their dying hue
Their song of melancholy rue

And now we see
Of all those hundred
Only three.

Three percent, The precious few
God forbid it should drop
To two.

 

Harriet Fraser, June 2015

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