Hoping – poem for Earthweal

On days like this, hope’s easy –
it’s right there, in every swelling bud,
each new shoot pushing through,
each leaf unfurling. The robin sings it
and the fieldfare carry it on fluttering wings.

Don’t let Pandora fool you.
Hope’s the last demon in the chest,
the one that sends you walking blind
into oblivion, smiling. Hope’s the Fool’s card,
hope’s the joke.

Take that hope and weaponise it, then,
mix it with love and anger, braid them together
weave them into the plaits you wear. Take a stand.
Temper hope with knowledge –
sharpen it. Hope’s just a spark,
pressed out by a wet thumb. Nurture it.
Feed it fiercely, with the fuel of joy,
and light a candle from it.

All those candles, moving apart
and then together, forming a web of light
under the great dome of the sky.

Is that enough, now? Is it?

Sherry is hosting at Earthweal tonight, and our theme is “finding hope”.

Missing – poem for Earthweal

What I miss is aliens.

Not aliens, exactly, but the thought of aliens –
descending in their shiny spotless spacecraft,
making first contact and humanity responding –

love and peace? Maybe. A realising
that we’re human, all of us together,
that we’re adrift on this blue spaceship
but we can reach out –

grappling hooks and handshakes –

learn from others, find new ways to live.

I’m missing Captain Kirk.

That clean ideal of boldly going out
into the great unknown,
sharing the best that we can be.

Maybe I miss my own naivety.

Maybe I miss the feeling that we can be better,
that we can all reach out –
all those old cliches, building bridges,
building bigger tables, building love

when all we ever build are walls

and maybe it was never there –
maybe I’m yearning after something that I never had
and never lost.

Maybe it’s angels that I miss
or fair-faced elves, or fairy folk, or something else
to take away the isolation.

I’m struggling here. What changes?
The world, or me? or just TV?
Whatever. I miss you, James T Kirk
and all those heroes, flawed, but reaching
for the stars.

TheEarthwealprompt this week is “solastalgia” – homesickness for a vanishing world. I’m not sure about nostalgia – do we miss the world as it was, or ourselves as we were? Anyhow, this is my musing on it all.

Renewal – poem for Earthweal


Listen: avoid me –
I’m the mad woman
on the bus –
in a pair of boots –

I’ll be the one grabbing you
and gabbling

listen: you can’t fight nature –
she’s wily and she’s wise-
she shapeshifts,
so that you think you’ve caught her
but she slips away –
first fish
then fox
then waterfall
then weasel

Listen, I tell you
there are fish
that sleep for years
in the dark mud beds
waiting for rain

and I’ve seen green shoots
punching though the charcoaled earth
demanding life

and roots hold wisdom
and share knowledge.

Listen: I saw some primroses today,
pale shreds of hope,
and my feet found
an old familiar rhythm,
though my muscles moaned

and the great beauty of these winter days,
cut short by the earths slow rolling round
is that you’re there
to see the sunrise.

A poem about renewal for Brendan at Earthweal.

Polar bear as the ice melts

So, maybe I’m the bear,
and the fear I see is my fear,
and the bewilderment is mine.,

as if I’m swimming hard
in a dissolving world, where all
those age-old certainties are melting –

that the world is ours,
that I am good,
that this place is bountiful,
and beautiful, and bottomless.

Maybe we’re all the bear,
realising that our home is shrinking
to a small space that can’t support
our weight, can’t feed us,
but we can’t step on
without disaster,

and the world is screaming.

The truth is that
the bear is the bear.
She swims on. I don’t know
if she feels hope, or fear,
and I can’t claim her
as a metaphor. She’s flesh and blood
and bones protruding,
she’s hungry
and the ice is melting.

Sherry Marr is hosting atEarthweal,and asks us to think about the animals affected by climate change.

Water again.

Water trickles from the base of the cliff –
it’s found its way along fault lines and cracks,
smoothing its own way down, whispering
of storms and oceans and wide green rivers,
muttering of the life that moves through kelp
and grass, the strength of trees, the softness
of apple blossom, murmuring of rain,
patiently wearing a path, carving a gorge,
a cave.

Water, soft as a lover’s finger tip.

One drop of water.

One tsunami crashing.
The drowned sleep,
embracing emptiness.

Water slaps solid liquid hard as steel,
crushing, unstoppable – it will always find a way,
like love, like anger, like grief, it is
a metaphor for its own strength.

This wet country, where the water coils and swirls,
carving the cliff edge, leaving raw rock, stones spilt
on a stony beach.

“I’d sleep in the back bedroom” we say,
looking at the house at the cliff edge, waiting to fall.
We imagine we’d escape.
We won’t.

A poem for Earthweal,where we contemplate the state of this beautiful planet, and the climate catastrophe we have created. Thank you to Brendan for this prompt.


If there are ghosts, then I think
they are the ghosts of children.
They must be the ghosts of children –
the sounds you hear are a slap dash
of running feet, a shard of laughter,
a moment of song.

Children who sing.
Children who slide into small spaces,
who creep through the dark
and then emerge into sunlight,
children who dream of full bellied sleep,
children who can still dream.

If there are ghosts, I am haunted
by the ghosts of children,
all the lost children, snatched
by the ocean, left behind
in the deep dark of the world,
the wraith children who faded away
in silence. Only their breath.

We are hunkering down as Storm Brendan passes overhead. This is for the other Brendan and the Earthweal project. 


Will it end in fire or ice? I think I know –
we’ll burn it all, pile it on,
until the smoke rolls thick and dark
from all the mass of tyres and bottles,
coal and living trees, and chicken feathers,
and old furniture, and money money money,
which burns brighter than anything,
flames leaping skywards. We’ll huddle,
backs to the dark, the great infinity
of emptiness, until the last flame flickers,
the last ember fades to ash.
And then we’ll freeze.

My second post for Brendan at Earthweal.  We are thinking about fire in the context of the climate crisis.

I lived in East Gippsland for a year, 25 yeras ago. It’s hard to see it burning. Thankfully, all our friends there are safe, but it’s been scary for us – terrifying for them.


We thought we’d tamed her, and that made us men,

that we had crammed her into some small domestic sphere

content to roast our meat and bake our bread,

to warm our feet and our bed.


She rose against us.


She rose and burned it all,

our homes, our crops, our makeshift sheds,

our livelihoods, our cars, our trucks

our power stations, pumping out smoke,

our sawmills, our shopping malls, our greedy bars,

our TV sets, our mobile phones, our soft hands,

our plump bellies, our plastic bottles,

our crisp Egyptian cotton sheets.


She bared her teeth and claws.


What fools we were. What fools.


For Brendan at Earthweal.