Grass stained knees and palms of dusty dirt,

Old brown boots and a tattered, torn shirt,

Over and under the rusted, barbed wire.

Young hoping heart would – nay, could – not tire

To go and see the wild.


Science, then, was opaque - strange. unknown;

Featherless, furless and dry as old bone.

“Biologist?” They said, “I was to be?”

“Not I”, I said. Lab coats wouldn’t help me,

To go and see the wild.


I’d rather tell stories of beak and claw,

Embody their merits and relate the awe 

Than reduce nature to a simple equation.

Such was my naïve, shrugging evasion,

To go and see the wild. 


My degree? It’s just a means to an end

I thought, yet my ignorance it did amend.

This thing – Science – was not callous or cold,

It would not stop me, as clichés had told,

To go and see the wild.


Feathers and fur, and yes – even dry bone,

Take on new life when new facts become known.

You can imagine my young mind’s surprise

When Science came knocking and opened my eyes.

And now - I see the wild.


Chris McCormack
Chris graduated from The University of Melbourne with a Master of Science in Zoology and has spent the past two years working for the Victorian government delivering citizen science projects. He is the Managing Director of Wild Melbourne and pursues his interests in science and natural history through the mediums of film, photography and written communication. 

Banner image courtesy of Robert Geary.