Not all the poems in the anthology are directly concerned with rhino. Many take as their subject the wider threat to our world implied in attacks upon wilderness and other natural habitats. Bill Milner’s excellent poem is one of these.

The Inheritors

Again the sun rose hidden by thick cloud

which spread like a false ceiling over fields

of unreflective black – what light there was

not strong enough to raise a single gleam.

Up against our brand-new five-barred gate

the dog stood howling on the kennel’s roof,

the whole thing wallowing as he clung on.

Then, slowly, the inheritors moved in:

we started seeing cormorants in trees

and window ledges occupied by gulls.

Before that week was out the gannets came,

their dives aligned exactly with the rain.

And we, who thought we’d thought of everything,

ate the last biscuits as the water rose.


Bill Milner