The Amber Light

I was caught staring at the amber light –
the pause – the stop – the pushed brake
before the collisionbefore the crush
of border patrols upon the quick-shift

of dream-skinned people in frail boats –
none suited to such a rolling exodus –
all ferried by the free-traders of prayers –
they place a high price on such reveries

And now I can feel the white-grinding
of ice masses – of quickened melts –
of glaciers’ hurried abrasions on hills –
that accelerated ablation of fixtures

We will become the low-down migrants
without any possessions – of land or time –
as the seas rise to match the price-per-head
of our negligence – then my children will cry

and they will look at me – my poor pledges –
and try not to believe that I too plundered –
that their mother stole – the last lit chances –
to stop the incited rise of sea levels and lies

#BlackFriday

I crumpled – again – this morning –
with the endless news – which I cradled –
still warm – in my left hand –
then this unplugged device dimmed
to save on power usage

I stroked the sempiternal story
with a stiff finger – re-lighting it –
the act of scrolling – like teasing skin
with love’s lightest of touches
to bring a waking company to life

My roll-over nights of trickled
sweat-streams will be re-stoked –
Reuters reports of more kinds
of fucks – of over-heated ice
washing from those off-white poles

They now count the last of a species
on one hand – measuring the missing
in thin percentages – filling media inches –
which shift plastic – that advertised crap –
I crumple with such endless news

#ExtinctionRebellion

You stood together
deep and wide enough
to stop cars from crossing
London’s tarred bridges –
leaving the delayed
Fucking! at your solemn belief
whilst blocking the concrete
arteries which cross and re-cross
that leaden slug – the Thames –
But the oil-soaked rags –
those still-connected papers –
only reported the traffic chaos

#extinctionrebellion
#RebellionDay

This Parish

We stick to the leaf-kicked route –
a parting of the dry sea of leaves
cleared by dog-following boots –

We tack down its meandered drop
to the time-softened abyss –
plugged not by God – but drains –

where a watercourse once hollowed
the hillside into this shallow dean –
before the slugs of tarmac upstream –

Here the irregular plots of silver birches
ignore the fallen old lady in lime green –
this is the parish of ineffectual giants –

these natives – a copse within the woods –
are a finger-daubed fearful tribe in white –
chary – waiting – as if standing ready –

listening for the infected invaders
from other places – for intruders
who will bring other such followers

to spread the canker and pestilence –
which was not the way things changed –
not until we changed the weather

October Half Term

The paths were soft under me today
although this low sun is still capable
of tricking the insects into revival –
setting off a dragonfly over the bridge
and pulling late flowers from pods –

until the quick slaughter of an early frost
will clear our compound of anxieties
for the seasons – those off-kilter fears
which are felt as warmth on the skin –

At such a late time of year – she says
to her friend over steam-lifting coffees –
I rest my stiff legs under the cafe table –
I feel no quiver of guilt at the dried mud
which is the hardened path to my seat

The Flood

There’s a shifted density in the landscape
following your biblical month of rain –
It has been days and disturbed nights –
a battening of doors and shutting-ins

My chosen path is tread-thickened soup –
the mossy velour on my usual pew
is now an orbicular stump-top sponge –
my meditative place is soaked right through

The dripping leaves of the common hawthorn
are plated to silver and bent in prayer
by the salty weight of God’s squeezed tears –
here funnelled from him by the doctrinaire

Where my path rises with logs as steps
the deluge descends in no need of grip –
making me turn to take another route
to the higher ground where your boat should sit

In your clearing – of the sawn and fallen –
you list in pairs and shout deaf-ear orders
finding many gone – or now missing –
‘I have to postpone my plans for The Flood’

Your holy fable finds a level in puddles
where water pools in the lowest place –
and in the clearing there is no Ark –
Others will say when the seas are raised

 

Out of the Woods

The soil is dry and compacted
under the last threadbare fall

The laggard stream clogs
between the dropped branches

The cow parsley – and others –
stand as unpicked summer fossils

The weighty berries tease
among sharpened brambles

August should now stutter
into the slow rot of Autumn

But that immigrant heatwave
has not shifted from us

The seasons are so confused
by our greedy interference.

Eclipse

I danced my weight home
to a no-eclipsed Moon
whilst reports of Her crimp
were reduced – removed

Her amber qualities
here timely-abused
by a shifted Earth’s
slow sun-spun cruise

As we sweat into sleep
and tug on warmed fear
please pray for a God
who will rain on us tears

If no good will fall
on our field-wide droughts
then pray to the Devil
for floods to drown doubts

Expect little beauty
in this high hemisphere –
whilst long winds spin
the clouds quite queer

And if all such plans
only map out to dust
then take to the lake beds
and imagine them lush

Drink the low waters
which form as warm pools –
but do not imbibe
the next epoch of fools.

Early Rising

I let the cool air in over the parquet floor –
my temporary mistress for these few hours
before the sun fucks her rude heat
back into our brick and glass box

I said we’d need blinds to counter this
warming of the morning face of the house
But my pronouncements were stale –
like unpalatable coffee breath kisses

In the room without windows we had sheltered
from the fallout of this sky-dropped summer –
there for an evening of radiation off the TV
which in itself fed the ice-threatening heat

At this hour the bedooms are containers
of the sheet-shoved and half turned over –
where the poorly slept bodies simmer
and adjust to itched consciousness

It is only five o’clock but the sun has risen
at this point on the turned earth’s surface –
Soon there will be words about the weather
and requests to fix the sprinklers will be made

Beachcombing

On the shingle-driven beach – I looked for shells – but found plastic

We are no more the guardians because everything we use returns

The indicant we find is a tide mark of oil-based products

As kids – we looked for rare treasures after the waves had retreated

Mermaids’ purses and seaweed – our stolen weather stations

The currencies of beachcombing are no longer nature’s ways

 

E221018

Fall

Almost December
and this bit
of our northern hemisphere

is being tricked by the
man-made warmth
into putting feelers out
from within

the false Spring which catches
too keen lifeforms and me

I am over dressed for
these modern Novembers

The Hunt

Hunt down the ragged fox,
reduce our long-earned rights,
set dogs upon the immigrants,
claimants should be denied‘:

Praise The Mail’s honesty,
share their Photoshop of lies,
become a born-again Christian,
to fight off Islamic cries.

Bitch about striking workers,
and ‘those sponging socialists‘,
stand up for the landed wankers
whose shined brogues you long to kiss:

Now you are a Conservative,
voting for returning to the past,
you will fight them on the beaches
once our borders return to France.

And as your vast shares in disaster
push tides and break up skies,
your pension fund will collapse,
and your children will ask you: ‘Why?’

Field Work

I write this, aching from my simple effort,
now bench-propped, on Luxford Field,
with car shunts and engine revs behind me,
then killed, still, replaced (for now) by birdsong.

This afternoon, under ripe end-of-March sun,
(we will judge once more with warming fears),
I wave at the future,  upright in a buggy,
trundled up the path, bobbled over lifted roots.

And then the farcical entry of a dog shocks
the three matte pigeons, and a shined rook,
which lift away, leaving the expanse empty,
untimely, far too early for the annual fair,

it’s arrival to be rung by the hammering of pegs.
That fun, on this field, is still a drought away,
until then there will be the scattering of litter,
couples snogging, and teenagers swigging.

But today, with this lunch hour to be consumed,
and low warmth enjoyed, the town joins me
in the old art of laying, uniform, on the grass;
one skill which we were taught well at school.


 

The Last Frost in Sussex

the-last-frost


08:24. I am touching the last of a cold God,
over unevens, under unornamented woods,
now contained by us – for the good of all:
February over-sugared, overnight, here underfoot;
the stripped hedgerow is briefly lit, crowned
by the blinding hour, those umber-dipped
high stick fingers touch the very last of His
visible burnt presence.

Along the raised path, the short timber route,
over the flood-expected meadow, a convenience
for us led dog walkers, commuters, drunkards:
It has a ship’s complaint under my over-weight,
a sea worthy distrust of unstrapped cargo,
my stick a peg leg poke across her slippery deck.

Greater tussock sedges, rare Sussex lumps of grass,
green icebergs gathered, wait for the June onslaught
of Japanese knot weed, a foreign flood in this field
after the cold-breath time has been put aside, quicker
with each warmer year. The woodpecker stopped
in Buxted. 08:32.


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.