We Try To Tame The Earth

Plough it, plant it, pile it up
This element we base life on
And shape to shelter what in fact
Was never ours to build upon

And yet we seek to stake our claim
Invent new names for landscaping
To show we’re clever and we’re staying
More important under heaven

Though making mud-pies said enough
We add our words – legitimise
Earth Mother sounds a lot less rough
Than bitch, doe, hen or dam. The prize

For overcoming nature’s raw
And unassuming cycled year
Producing rare fruits more and more
In ways our kids may learn to fear

Is profit for the prudent man
With arms outstretched to grab the loot
We pillage what were gifts from land
We’ve learned to grind beneath our boot

But Earth’s enduring, will remain
In spite of all we hope to do
Our efforts futile, all in vain
Compared with when the Earth was new

Mere upstarts, mayflies, we shall prove
And soon enough we will be gone
As forestry reclaims the roof
Civilisation built upon

The surface Adam barely trod
If we believe the word of Man
Whose hand was guided not by God
But greed for what he would attain

What lessons learned at Mother’s knee
Of how much plenty may procure
As Earth comes after currency
We set our hearts on more and more

Originally posted on Poem Pigeon 30th October 2013

Five to five

They’re dropping like flies
As the plague sweeps the ranks
Rows of workstations empty
While telephone banks

Ring loud through the silence
And gathering gloom
As Thursday-night callers
Take turns round the room

One lone operator
Soon pales at the noise
And grasps at the handset
With grimace in place

For over-mic’d trawlers
That given the choice
She’d give neither date
Time, directions, nor voice

It’s almost the hour
That her shift’s at an end
But one final nuisance
Is waiting to rend

The last of her sanity
Ripped down the wire
Complaining injustices
Crude, uninspire

No longer the patience
To handle such groans
She’s wanting her bed
And an end to all ‘phones

Aspire, respire, perspire

Searching for beauty
In the crumbling pavements
The chickweed shoots
Bringing colour to each crack

Fishing for rainbows
In gutters pooled with oil
The water slick and dirty
As an inner-city fast-track

Squinting in sunlight
Huddled in a cheap coat
Thin layers for protection
Against the chill of springtime

Doze in back of buses
To dream up something better
Than another year of hardship
And a terminal decline

Fracking Alternatives

I’ve been wracking my brains
Why we should need to go fracking
When there’s so many planes
To such a many sided coin

Sure, it fracks up my mind –
There’d be more sense in car-jacking
And a good deal more pleasure
Gained from jumping a groyne

But now it seems at the sea
When off in holiday glee
We’ve such a need to sit sulking
We no longer enjoy

The sport of hunting for shells
Of turning green at the smells
Splashing past nappies and tampons
That we pass at the buoy

Yeah, Blackpool’s not such a gas
They’ve fracked the lights and the glass
Until the Biggest of Dippers
Is a red saveloy

The very thought is a joke
We leave the dirty Big Smoke
And spend our cash on a cuppa
While the ground spills its coke

No refunds, no money back
When your vacationing snack
Has turned the tables, bit the big one
With a seismic attack

It’s all a plateful of fun
Beneath the cool English sun
While you can ignite the water
That you get from the tap