Monday, 11 November 2019


Too Long without an entry - but today I dedicate this to all who are failing to see the signs of the times, who won’t listen to respected scientists. And especially those who we have unfortunately elected to lead democracies who have proved blind to facts, together with those who run and work for fossil fuel extraction companies and those who have no intention of changing their lifestyle one tiny jot. 


Deny-O-saurs will be the cause
of our home planet roasting.
They choose to ignore science fact;
you even hear them boasting
they’re still promoting fossil fuels,
whilst many of our children,
show wisdom more than Deny-O-saurs
who’ll bring on mass extinction.

Same theme - more seriously expressed at
Plea of an unborn child

Monday, 30 July 2018

As Mighty Glaciers Recede (Durham 1*)

Credit NASA: Muir Glacier 1941/2004

 As Mighty Glaciers Recede  (Durham 1*)

As mighty glaciers recede
and leave great scars which cause alarm;
Be sure it is the rising heat
Of greenhouse gasses causing harm.

When coastal glaciers discharge
Their rapid melt, to chilly seas:
We know, that ocean levels will   
Rise swiftly and inexorably. 

By contrast, mountain glaciers
cause havoc through reduced cascades,
so downstream waters can’t suffice
to turn hydraulic turbine blades.

We need to switch from fossil fuels
To wind and wave and solar power:
Renewables already can
make all these risks a little lower.

For everyone who loves the earth
Clean energy must be the aim,
To strengthen hope the planet can      
Be saved through this essential change.

For as such massive change takes place
The least resourced will bear the toll
Of harshness in the furious wake
Of worsening weather through the world.

* I would like to thank Professor Chris Stokes in the Geography Department at Durham University for his help in inspiring the idea of writing about glaciers and ensuring the accuracy of the scientific aspects of this poem: composed during my stay at St John’s College as Visiting Fellow for the term.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fabric - A Haiku

In our small Living With Integrity group we began a discussion on the dynamics of cheap textile sales. To some of us it was startling to hear that the availability of cheap clothing (one member had found a site which offers more than 1700 women’ s tops) has led to buyers purchasing several and discarding some without even a single wearing. It was suggested I might write a Haiku to draw attention to this issue. Here it is

In case you would like just the wording, it is

If I won’t be worn
Let me stay on the shelf and 
not landfill adorn.

Might make a good discussion starter in any similar group.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A Lament of Water

A few years ago at St Leonard's church Assisi, I met an international water consultant. we had a fascinating conversation about the sheer waste of water in supply systems across the world - a situation that the Italian-based engineer advises on with a view to finding remedies. The volume of wasted water he described points to unbelievable levels of negligence, which I have tried to reflect in the following poem, which my engineer friend has checked for accuracy - and for that, I am most grateful. There are also major international questions as to who ‘owns’ water - but that’s another major topic for another time!
A Lament of Water
You seek me on far distant planets,
knowing I signal life.
Yet you who need me abuse me,
In hideous measure
Through ill-tended pipes.

At least one third of me, treated,
ensuring I'm drinkably pure,
is lost as I pass, through the mains, to a tap;
‘tis profligate! That's to be sure.

So whilst others struggle collecting
me, trekking to worrying source,
you have no concern for what you can't see,
that from stricken  pipeworks
I constantly burst.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Paradise Island Dreams

‘Moonglow’ by the author

Darkness stretches to the horizon,
speckled grey reflects a struggling moon;
close to my invisible feet
a gravelly surge tells me soon
the waves will undermine
the tiny promontory where I stand;
steady for now but in only minutes
my dreamer’s knoll will be engulfed 
in the unpredictably shifting sand.

I will stay, I will stay for a while
transfixed by the infinite
rhythm of the waves.
Tonight the ocean’s gentle swell
masks the latent violence
that makes it the realm of innumerable graves.

Transient glints from the downcast sky
cause me to reflect;
there, beyond my constrained eye
and my pedestrian imagining
are deep trenches, 
mighty sub-surface mountains,
scintillating reefs;
mortuaries - millions of shells, no longer in use:
slithering predators, giving no relief 
to myriads of fish of dizzily entrancing hues.

And in the deeper, deeper waters
sinister gyres
where we, ultimate predators,
ultimate polluters 
cast plastic, glass and toxic refuse
from boats, shorelines, rivers and streams
adding to the natural death toll:
so rapidly, all too rapidly
we poison everyone’s
paradise island dreams.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Extending the Life of the Planet: Yes We Can!

Helped by science, we’ve reduced the dangerous ozone hole;
China is, with foresight, turning down its coal;
there are otters, fish and wildfowl in rivers once deemed dead;
we’re more concerned when species’ lives hang dangling on a thread.

So with some careful measures and a will to rearrange,
we can stop the planet heading for a dangerous climate change;
and each of us can contribute by thinking day-by-day
of switching off, recycling waste and throwing less away.

Below, rainbow cards of this poem  to print out for circulation at appropriate events. May I encourage you to distribute them as widely as you can. They focus on achievement andthe positive and may, therefore, have an impact that will be greater than some more forceful messages!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Truth to Power: A Villanelle.

Recently: August 20th - watched new #AlGore film: concerns re-awakened, making me want to capture them in a Villanelle to use the repetitive emphases of that form of poem. August 25th More difficult than expected but poem completed. Then August 26th see news of extreme monsoon rain in Bangladesh India and Nepal; storm Harvey and the catastrophe of Texas and now Louisiana. Our hearts go out to the huge number of people afflicted - and with the shocking thought that all of us in the West have, in very high probability, contributed to the awfulness.

Expect more weather of wildest extremes.
Until we replace every fossil fuel
We’ll see murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

The stuff of nightmares, not rosy dreams.
Winds and storms frequently, massive and cruel;
Expect more weather of wildest extremes;

Ugly smogs blanket dense urban scenes,
CO2’s impact on planet, lethal,
As more murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

Polar ice dies; its melting rates obscene
Confirm climatology is truthful. 
Expect more weather of wildest extremes;

Wildfires to make tired firefighters blaspheme,
Long droughts render farms unsustainable,           
Elsewhere murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

Campaign for change: don’t look on, resentful,
Mount challenges to power proving neglectful.
Expect more weather of wildest extremes,
As those murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Good Stewardship: A Community Resource Possibility on Your Local Church Roof!

For some time this possibility for older churches seemed to have the insuperable problem that solar panels would never be allowed on a Grade I or II (English) listed building. No longer! There are panels on Grade I listed churches and even on a Cathedral. Hence the poem/shallenge below

Good Stewardship?

Every day,
powerful rays of the sun
rain down 
on a multitude,
of passive,             
church roofs.

Could those barren acres
be converted into
fruitful energy providers? 
Thus, of good stewardship, 
rendering proof.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Plea of an Unborn Child

Image found on 'Babycenter blog'. (13 weeks)

Dearly beloved Mother, you are, just now, 
the only person to whom I can talk.
You are my sustenance, my comfort,
my very life; and it will be much the same
up to and beyond that special day when I can walk.

Today I want to ask you
that you will do all you can to ensure
the world into which I will be born
will sustain me and your grandchildren,
and not be so hideously transformed
that we will find it impossible to live without fear
of disasters, even wars, brought about
by too much or too little water, violent winds,
extremes of cold and heat:
and a probability of having to weep all-too-frequent tears.

Please,please, listen to discerning,
careful, forward-thinking scientists
and whenever possible, 
tell those who pursue the relentless exploitation of fossil fuels -
and everything that follows in its wake -
that you need them to draw it to a rapid halt, for my sake
and for every single child of my generation.

Please go on marches,
write indignant letters,
organise petitions,
argue with vehement determination,
that I and all of us-in-waiting
may not have to mourn the earth,
but live as you would no doubt have us live,
to welcome our children
in the fullness of time,
with joyous celebration. 

More information on this theme at
NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming