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The Lion Queen

I must go down to the sea again, to the Lion Man and his shack
To follow the Lion Queen again on her sand blown, rocky track

To hear the heaving ocean, Breakers thundering on the shore
Where the whale bones bleach under pitiless skies
And the wind whispers “never more”

Never more to the Queen of the lion clan
Who bestrode these shattered wastes
Oblivious to the eyes of the man
All alone in this alien place

The blue blue eyes, as blue as the skies
As blue as the ocean deep
They brought the Lion Queen back to life
As she dreamed her long, last sleep

The long last sleep of the lioness who took one final breath
And lowered herself to the burnt red land
To be gently stroked by death

And the lion man who stood there In his silent tears and pain
Reverently lifted his Lion Queen
To bring her back again

To bring her back again, he laboured through days into nights
His fingers instinctively feeling in the fast fading desert light

Connecting vertebrae together, Pelvis, metatarsal, femur, tail and skull
Patiently assembling with each night’s lunar pull

The lunar pull that impelled him, driving industry with love
As the sea washed in and the sea washed out
And the stars filled the skies above

Until finally she stood there, majestic on four feet
And the Lion Man could rest again, his Lion Queen complete.


This is a tribute poem to Flip Stander, conservationist, whose life work has been the desert lions of Namibia's Skeleton Coast (featured on Sir David Attenborough's Planet Earth) - my son was fortunate enough to spend time with him on a recent filming expedition & his film inspired me to revisit John Masefield's poem Sea Fever and write my own. You can watch the film here:


conservationnaturalistlovelionthe seaJohn Masefield

◄ Go Live Day

Father's Day ►


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