150 Billion

150 billion stars.
Stop the bashing, stop the gassing,
Their souls stripped of fur, hand-stitched into the universe.
Stop the kicking, stop the cutting,
Their bright blood spirals into the crinkled, churning sky.
Stop the hoisting, stop the dropping,
They rise above the machines, their pain woven like spider webs.
Stop the shouting, stop the slitting,
Patterns criss-cross and entwine, good and evil, truth and lies.
Stop the shocking, stop the shooting.
Stop the killing. The killers. The kill. Kill.
Lift the blanket, where the stars float gently in its folds.

To the 150 billion of this year, and the year before, and the year before that…
© Kathryn Rose Newey, 16/02/2020


Somebody’s baby died tonight.
No one will mark its death
With flowers or notelets
At the side of the road.

Somebody’s baby died tonight.
No one will mourn it’s short
Life or pointless demise,
At the side of the road.

Somebody’s baby died tonight.
Its mother will call and cry,
Sleepless, her teats weeping,
At the side of the road.

The driver, a little guilty,
May stop briefly, but then
He’ll drive away, relieved
His car had no damage,
At the side of the road.

© Kathryn Rose Newey, 16-03-2020

The Canadian Seal Hunt is “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of baby seals each year” [website accessed 20 March 2020]. Read more here.

© Kathryn Rose Newey, 17-03-2000

© Kathryn Rose Newey, 05-10-2011

© Kathryn Rose Newey, 06-12-1983

Dedicated to all African Elephants, alive and dead. There are only 400,000 of you left alive, but your numbers are falling dramatically due to poaching, corporate greed and land grabs. May we wake up and let you be, before it’s too late.

© Kathryn Rose Newey, 2016-2020

You can listen to a reading of this poem from the Upload show on BBC 3 Counties Radio with Kady Braine and Chris Milligan, which was aired on Friday March 20th, 2020 here.