The Alphabet of Animals: K–O

Mike Unwin shares some of his lockdown wildlife poems.

Inspired by his wildlife photos, author and nature writer Mike Unwin has been making the most of his lockdown time by creating some wonderful little alphabet poems.

K is for… King Penguin

Photographed at Volunteer Point, Falkland Islands, 2013, with Visit the Falkland Islands

K is for King Penguin – this avian royalty
Asks of his subjects their unswerving loyalty
Swaggers about with his bill to the sky
Ignores all their sniggers (‘He can’t even fly’)

L is for… Lion

Photographed in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2018, with Asilia Safaris

L is for Lion – a male and a cub
Both waiting for females to bring back the grub
A buffalo rump or a wildebeest haunch
They’re really not fussed, just so long as it’s lunch

M is for… Meerkat

Photographed in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana, 2019, with Aardvark Safaris

M is for meerkat, a vigilant creature
Standing on guard, like a zealous head-teacher
This one stayed put while its comrades all fled
To see where they’d gone, it climbed up on my head

N is for… Nile Crocodile

Photographed in Kafue National Park, Zambia, 2010, with Lufupa Bush Camp

N is for Nile Crocodile: deadly, aquatic
Not what you’d want to find trapped in your attic
Five metres long, with 60-odd teeth
You’d be far safer staying a few floors beneath

O is for… Orang-utan

Photographed in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, 2013, with Visit Indonesia

O is for orang-utan, mother and child
The latter’s just seen how his hair’s been restyled
It’s bad enough dealing with deforestation
Why must he suffer such humiliation?

Discover more of Mike’s daily poems on his Instagram.

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