Such grim revelations must surely
increase as the process we
have started gathers pace.
Mothers, fathers, daughters, sisters,
brothers, grandfathers, sons,
each in their turn born into the light
in the arms of that nurturing landscape
that held them suspended and undisturbed
with their mortal secrets all kept safe
before the climate, our cameras,
the long reach of our media
rudely stripped them bare.
A long lifetime has passed.
We take stock of their remains.
A woman’s shoe, a green glass bottle.
An old-fashioned back-pack,
a part of a body. The ghoul in us
goes searching for the rest.
For them when the angel
came swooping like an eagle
goodbyes were scarcely possible.
Not for them the reaching out
towards the touching of gloved finger tips
or the last, brief locking of iced lips.
Only sheer, steep terror and
a gripping of the guts as the
horror of it all became apparent.
Seconds crawled by
as the earth up-ended and they
played out their slow, soft descent.
Climatologists instruct us
how a rise in global temperatures
is thawing the ice of mountain glaciers.
Our greed lays bare the corpses
of those loved one who died
in a more transparent age.
Sometimes it happens that moved by some trifle
the flood-gates of the heart will seize fast.
Then tears that seemed foolish become a great flood,
a passion that defies all explanation.
In the very young you may see it sometimes
when they throw back their heads and howl,
their plump cheeks red, their eyes screwed tight,
their small fists like windmills through the air.
Do not think it naughtiness. It is no show of mere petulance
but the human condition that has touched them.
They cry their frustration with a world so cruel
that it will not let them have and be.
And the elderly too who have least time left for tears
will weep at the slightest provocation.
This may be what love is: to be touched,
to be pierced by this well-spring that has no end.
Yesterday I watched as three baby rabbits
frolicked after sunbeams in my garden.
Such a tenderness engulfed me.
Later, this morning, I counted only two.
Now, this same evening, a summer storm rages.
It tears at the beauty of my poppies.
My heart bleeds to see them crushed.
As you say, my friend, this sadness never ends.
© Abigail Elizabeth Ottley
Delighted to have a third poem appearing in this delightful journal. Big thanks to editor, Elizabeth Gibson.
Imagine yourself on the phone to your sister
who knows she is going to die.
Imagine your neighbour and your neighbour’s children
pressed against their window hoping against hope.
Picture your father fighting to breathe
as the smoke that fills his lungs half blinds him.
Imagine the mother who must choose for her infant
between certain and probable death.
Now picture the scene as the businessmen gather.
Imagine what they said to each other.
Imagine their smooth, untroubled faces.
Picture their pink and white manicured hands.
Imagine for a moment they knew what they were doing.
Imagine that it adds up to murder.
Picture how the truth might look.
I wonder if you can.
I am delighted to have the first of three poems in this journal today. This is an excellent outlet foe poetry. Check it out.