Friday Poem ­– ‘Thirlmere’ by Rhiannon Hooson

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Thirlmere’ by Rhiannon Hooson from 100 Poems to Save the Earth.

100 Poems to Save the Earth edited by Zoe Brigley and Kristian Evans.

Our climate is on the brink of catastrophic change. 100 Poems to Save the Earth invites us to fine-tune our senses, to listen to the world around us, pay attention to what we have been missing. The defining crisis of our time is revealed to be fundamentally a crisis of perception. For too long, the earth has been exploited. With its incisive Foreword from editors Zoë Brigley and Kristian Evans, this landmark anthology is a call to action to fight the threat facing the only planet we have. 

Thirlmere
After we lit the last candle
the gales couldn't hold us any more.
Along the lane the walls had begin
to slump, water sluicing through them 
green as grass, but we drove
through anyway and out into the valley.
The fields were polished flat.
Trees were hung with drooping ropes
of fleece that caught in the breeze like kudzu.
Banks of shale sprawled
draining across the roads, and the sky
was open, dizzying and blue, tall into the air
above the crowns of our heads, 
and the slate face of the lake
was the same as always. Lakes survive
any flood, lie oblique in their hollows,
streaked with the half-truths of glimpsed reflections. 
The birds were only then beginning to sound.
All across the fields the fallen trees were burning.

100 Poems to Save the Earth is available on the Seren website: £12.99

Rhiannon Hooson’s collection The Other City is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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Friday Poem – ‘For a Coming Extinction’ by Pascale Petit

As COP26 continues in Glasgow, this week’s Friday Poem is ‘For a Coming Extinction’ by Pascale Petit which features in the anthology 100 Poems to Save the Earth.

100 Poems to Save the Earth Edited by Zoë Brigley and Kristian Evans

Our climate is on the brink of catastrophic change. 100 Poems to Save the Earth invites us to fine-tune our senses, to listen to the world around us, pay attention to what we have been missing. The defining crisis of our time is revealed to be fundamentally a crisis of perception. For too long, the earth has been exploited. With its incisive Foreword from editors Zoë Brigley and Kristian Evans, this landmark anthology is a call to action to fight the threat facing the only planet we have. 

For a Coming Extinction
(after W. S. Merwin)
You whom we have named Charger, Challenger,
Great King, and Noor the shining one,
now that you are at the brink of extinction,
I am writing to those of you
who have reached the black groves of the sky,
where you glide beneath branches of galaxies,
your fur damasked with constellations,
tell him who sits at the centre of the mystery,
that we did all we could.
That we kept some of you alive
in the prisons we built for you.
You tigers of Amur and Sumatra,
of Turkey and Iran, Java and Borneo,
and you — Royal Bengals, who lingered last.
Tell the one who would judge
that we are innocent of your slaughter.
That we kiss each pugmark,
the water trembling inside
as if you had just passed.
Masters of ambush and camouflage,
hiding behind astral trees,
invisible as always,
when we gaze up at the night,
when we look lightyears into the past —
we see your eyes staring down at us.

100 Poems to Save the Earth is available on the Seren website: £12.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Read our COP26 guest post from 100 Poems to Save the Earth co-editor Kristian Evans.