Fat on Nitrogen

A Rhode Island pond –

The beaver tastes the cold air

As he builds his dam

 

Now somewhere upstream

On a vast and dying lake –

The waterfowl glide

 

No cold carp live here –

Choked by a mass of algae

Fat on Nitrogen

 

Round the river bend

The cowhand lights a bonfire –

Eyes moist from the smoke

 

A lonesome raven –

Watching the soil’s residue

Washed out by the sleet

 

A Rhode Island pond –

The beaver tastes the cold air

As he builds his dam

 

Now somewhere downstream

On a vast and living lake –

The waterfowl glide

 

The cold carp live here –

Swimming amongst the algae

Breathing oxygen

 

Round the river bend

The cowhand lights a bonfire –

Eyes moist from the smoke

 

A lonesome raven –

Watching the soil’s residue

Washed out by the sleet

 

Somehow all the same –

Sparse cycles all connected

Under Gaia’s clasp

The beaver tastes the cold air / as he builds his dam (Photo Credit: Marcin Klapczynski)
The beaver tastes the cold air / as he builds his dam (Photo Credit: Marcin Klapczynski)

This is a series of haiku written about this piece of research, which investigates how beavers in Northern America are helping to stop harmful levels of nitrogen from reaching rivers and estuaries, by building ponds that slow down the movement of water, which helps in the removal of nitrogen.

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