Degrees

It is early October, in my sixth decade,
this low sun’s heat now obfuscates:
Two score fears of Betjeman’s bombs,
aimed to rain down on everyone;

that threat, then stalled, by a melt of Cold War,
but on the horizon a more terrible storm:
MAD-placed positions offer limited balance,
but we are slow-burning this lonely planet.

My neighbour’ll not prune until her last flowers fall,
but such lore set aside, now the sun misrules.
I stand ‘bove my shadow, as sundial and god,
my presence on earth more than enough,

to have been found guilty, on my own conviction,
my residence is toxic, I shan’t be forgiven:
I return to the shade, under still-green trees,
a level walk home, up by two degrees.

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