Drownd Guillemot


The Clearing magazine commissioned seven writers to mark the Remembrance Day of Lost Species. These pieces are not eulogies. Although they respond to the grief and disorientation of our times, they are also songs of hope and memory, commitment and renewal. I was touched by Pippa Marland’s essay on November 30th 2018 “the impacts of an altered and altering global climate and the desperate thinning of the richness of non-human life.” her words touched me profoundly and created an artistic resonance. 

Pippa also recommends David Steel’s blog for those who may wish to follow the fate of the seabirds at the Isle of May. https://isleofmaynnr.wordpress.com/author/davidsteel2015/

A young boy with a guillemot bird flying out of the broken picture frame at his side.

“A few miles we began to come across the bodies of dead birds: guillemots – first one and then another, and another, and another, feathers water-logged and bedraggled. It was a sight that filled us all with deep sadness, all the more distressing because we didn’t know how to interpret or grieve for these fatalities, either as individual deaths or markers of even greater loss at the species level. Personally, I also felt an inability to gauge how great a component of my grief was a sense of guilt – a pang of guilt that was itself hard to pin down. It was personal and collective, immediate and dispersed.” – an extract from Pippa’s fantastic essay.

guillemot flying from a broken frame with the isle of may and puffins in the background.

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