Over the last year, I have been busy writing a book.

My first draft is done, and some kind friends are looking at it (no pressure!) and I hope to get some good pointers to work in, update or consider.

That’s the reason I’ve not written many poems over the last twelve to eighteen months, my head’s been full of the book, which is based on a poem I wrote a while ago.

During that time, I’ve gained some perspective on my poetry, and wrestled with what I want to write, what I want to say and how I want to say that.

At the moment, for me, I need to write about something that matters to me. I need to have some emotional attachment to the subject matter.

I’m no eloquent mastermind, but I know what I like to write.

So, here’s a poem based on a small part of how I feel about our environment, and what we’ve done to her.

When you Stand Back and Look

When you stand back and look,

we killed the only planet our lives depend on,

twenty years ago we were warned by scientists,

forty years ago the scientists said the same;

our response: apathy; mockery, derision

of marginalised science-savvy protesters,

who only wanted to save all our lives: our planet.

When you stand back and look,

how ludicrous granting strong-opinioned folk

equal bill with global-science-consensus seems,

deniers awarded equal TV credence

for their opinion, versus expert’s knowledge –

met with media mockery of their method –

a method that has the power to save us all.

When you stand back and look,

Car-use, on demand heat – switch powered life: blessings

unjustified in children’s names, children’s prospects;

we’re helpless without convenient access

to frozen food, hot water – plenty on demand –

this our curse: to rely on Earth’s death for our lives,

lives lived taking other lives from Gaia’s future.

When you stand back and look,

all of us are guilty, our records are blemished

by dint of our birth into this world, at this time;

we can’t move but to damage Gaia, our last curse:

our prolific waste: single use consumables –

plastic forks in pasta pots which never rot down –

which will become archaeology – if we survive.

When you stand back and look,

our mission is obvious – proliferation

through finite-resource-hungry self-replication

destroying our self-sustaining environment,

justified in crooked survival pradigms

sold to us by the profiteers lining coffers

whilst poisoning the land, removing out future.

When you stand back and look,

highest order stupidity caused our crisis,

persistence in absolute truth’s face was our choice,

favouring commerce over Earth’s – our – wellbeing;

we have the choice, capability and knowledge

to take communal, urgent remedial steps;

once human certainty being crystal clear: we won’t.

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