02: Courting Apocalypse

There lies woven carpet on cold-stone floor
In Ecuador, once famous with colour,
Today only its threadbare fade display’d,
To the mantle trampl’d by manky feet,
Such objects are Our Planet’s grave warning,
Observe Calypso’s temple on Gozo
Eroded more in seventy summers
Than four thousand previous; sea-rims rise,
Threatening Venice & the ancient Fens,
Gorgeous Cape Flora by ogres depos’d,
The poor Great Barrier Reef falls asleep –
Meanwhile industry keeps turning, turning;
Deforestation, fossil fuels burning,
Greenhouse gasses – methane, nitrous oxide –
Churning their toxic cauldrons in the skies
Over oceans thermally expanding;
Prodigious floods, intensifying droughts,
Devastating wildfires, withering storms,
Are like a malign tumor’s first sharp slap –
High-level international discourse
Agrees to only lower emissions
But World! These must be halted for to save
Ourselves from damage unprecedented,
Permanent, irrevocable changes,
Let us reject the regret of hindsight,
The stakes have never been as high as this,
World! If we lose this one we lose it all!

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