Photo by Nigel Jackman


Take it With You


A polystyrene coffee cup
sits among the grass and flowers,
there’s a purple plastic bottle
won’t rot in a million hours. 

Why would you visit a National Park
and leave all your rubbish behind?
Why did you come in the first place,
what were you hoping to find?

Do you come for the peace and quiet,
the birds, the trees, the view?
How much less appealing the outlook would be
if everyone acted like you. 

Do you think that some mug is paid to clear up,
do you not practice thinking at all?
Perhaps you think litter adds colour
to the ground on which it may fall? 

If you wish to live in a rubbish tip
that’s fine, you can do that at home.
Please don’t leave your detritus where
folk like to peacefully ponder and roam. 

In a scene of natural beauty
that should be both restful and calm,
a plastic bag jars like a poke in the eye,
a deer could eat one, choke and then die;
on what selfish rules does your conscience rely
that you’ll just drop your mess and walk quickly on by? 

Please take it with you.


John Grant