change, Climate change, creative writing, Poetry, Social change

No more time to change

Tuesday in November

It didn’t rain.

The line between cold and hot, lonely and mocked, was paved over without a sound.

It was a Tuesday.

It was a clear sunny day –  just over four degrees –
when the ozone layer dislocated its joints and stretched into oblivion.
It’s tireless work ignored, without tears; the ground below rattled.
That sound of death missed.
I cast my eyes down to my belly
Picking at scabs that could never heal.

We had pounded lands with missives of self-hatred
And the oceans boiled in reply, spewing out its victims
Suffocating their screams with our convenience.
I turned away, pulled around my coat,
Planning my end in festive lights.

Mouths flapped, shining teeth prolonged the illusion
And we elected Self-destruction by proxy.
Billowing clouds spun, consumed with rage for our ignorance
Beating on our breasts to be heard.
I clawed at my coffee cup, sipping up the despair
Content on setting my final sentence.

I chose my poison – that day in November.

By 3pm it was done.

(I lay down, as the line faded from unwanted view,
and drank.)


I chose this date with no year to illustrate the what-if. What-if there was a date between our survival and ultimate extermination? What if that date had passed and we looked back at what we were doing that day and the days preceding. Would we have done anything differently? Could we?

I asked myself that question. I am under no illusion that I have a moral highground here. I am part of the problem. The threads of my existence are tangled up in the ways of our civilisation. I do what I can, I recycle, I reuse, I shout, I cajole… It’s not enough, those actions, that tinkering at the edges. It feeds my guilt. No more. I am fixed in place by those threads. Each pull just tightens the grip.

I see the question I need to ask myself is not what can I do to change rather why can I not? What hold does this civilisation have on me?

It’s a hideous and ugly thing to face head on, the realisation I have been choosing a slow drawn out suicide, opting for unreality, losing myself in this collective psychosis.

Why can I not change?

I ask myself again. And I imagine that Tuesday in November is this year. That this is all the time I have, we have. 6 months, 26 weeks to change. To cut those threads and walk away.

How can I not?

2 thoughts on “No more time to change”

  1. Wow! A strong and empassioned piece indeed. And I hear you – so clearly. We too try our best. Recycle, reuse, pass down, pick up. We’ve tried hard to stop the single use plastic that we consume. We sign petitions, use our vote as wisely as we can. It all seems fruitless sometimes. It seems yet another way that democracy is letting us down …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks honey. Sometimes it does seem hopeless. And when the universe reminds me its not. The day I posted this poem after noodling with it for over two months was the day the UK parliament declared a climate emergency. I felt I had to post it yesterday too, something was pulling me to do so. Another reminder about timing. Much more work to do for this Tuesday in November to not become a reality. but I have hope again šŸ™šŸ’«šŸ’–


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