Poem by me, illustration by daughter. Some of the formatting has taken on a life of its own. Oh well.
This winter, we wade in paddy fields
With no rice.
I’ve never known the land like it
In my lifetime
Which grows longer, every minute.
Whether I do, or don’t.
It’s the only thing I know how to measure
As, relentless, hungry
We power up our earth’s atmosphere
Shooting carbon atoms into the sky.
Thickly-iced polar vortices spun by
Fatal fingers slam down the east coast
And purple heatwaves head south
Lost in smoke. And above the clouds
Clear air turbulence
Lurks invisible between every isobar
Waiting to send your in-flight meal, flying
And, still, some people wonder,
What any of this has to do with them…
Whilst in England
We wade in paddy fields.
Morning, it chatters
Breath steaming up the bathroom
And I listen
For the slight click
As the microswitch
Kicks the heating pump into action
The whir of the Xbox, abandoned last night
Drowns the thermostat’s faint twitch
Orders groaning hot water
The flush sticks
A trickling waste.
And quickening drips
I put my hand on the gutter downpipe
Feeling the flow