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A poem for Chris Packham

You— all cable-knit dadbod, clean cut,
clean eating, lisping your feathered Corbynomics, warning
of the plight of hedgehogs, the risk of transgender fish
and Oh! those otters.

This is Binge-Watch, not Autumn Watch.

I watch you— boxed, badger-setted, episode
by episode, not as young
as you used to be (but neither are we).

Your hair darker now, flatter
than when we first fell in love,
in your post-punk really wild days,

when we’d sit huddled in changing rooms,
amongst pegged coats time waited to fill,
ghosting imaginary boyfriends,
swapping posters of you.

These were the episodes of our lives too—
the adrenaline rushes when you touched
soft fur, the way we wanted to be touched.

And now— man-spreading across the TV set,
shadowing co-presenters with your ability
to know, well, everything about the reproductive cycle
of fruit flies, the mating rituals of snakes,

shaming those who don’t share your passion—
social media trending with petitions
in your name,

though others still swipe you from dull screens,
mock your kestrel gaze, so unchanged by time,
contactless as air, but always earthed in reality.


This poem was written in response to an impromptu writing challenge posted on CAMPUS asking poets to write a poem that incorporated at least 5 words from a list of ‘words of 2015’ chosen by Collins English Dictionary.


  • Roz

    I really like this; how you’ve captured the essence of him now, particularly the knowledge and the piercing stare, the no nonsense words and the passions. Lovely!

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