I am the watcher

the runner

unofficial custodian



my feet pray

to mother earth

my breath


salt-sea molecules

of sky

and my eyes


the ways

in sweeping surveil

from mountain

to ocean

and over there

the horizon

mine not mine

owned only

in a global



tread the land

stomp the sand

it’s yours, ours, no one’s

take care


Photo: Claire Doble

Bigger than Texas

the earth will take back

in heat and ordure

the shredded plastic bags

and bottle caps.


unbeautiful bits of nature

pond dust, saline scum and

damp piles of leaf and blossom scrofula

look like horror

brown-shiny beetles and chokey cockroaches

creep slow on sickly stick-legs


they take back the dirt

one insect footstep at a time while

seahorses attached to Q-tips

and seagullpigeons in rubber bonnets

are not raging like us


they merely persist

hoping to discover

that rubbish-island in the sea

the size of New South Wales

(because it’s bigger than Texas now)

– must be terra nullius for them



This poem was inspired by the novel Arkady (need to get back to polishing up my own dystopian story one of these days!) And also somehow by Singapore (pictured), a place where the lush fecundity of nature mashes with the nasty detritus and pollution of human industry.


The Earth / His Purpleness

The earth is sad / Standing in the purple rain

Oceans are dying / I love you more than I did when you were mine

A bleached-white Barrier Reef / Colour me taken aback

Fracking for those last drops of oil / Let’s go crazy

Slaves mine phone components / It’s hard for me to say what’s right when all I wanna do is wrong

An island of plastic bags in the sea / Would you run to me if somebody hurt you, even if that somebody was me?

Burning fossil fuels to light our lives / Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999

Disappearing whales, gorillas, tigers, bees… / Believe it or not, I started to worry

Waters rising, refugees drowning / The times

And we fight about gay marriage / Can’t we just let love decide?

Global leaders do next to nothing  / I’d rather be the pope

We could drop the coal, the nuclear. Use wind and solar / Overcast days never turned me on

Things have got to change. Faster / You’ve got the horn so why don’t you blow it?

Maybe it’s too late / Maybe I’m just like my mother – she’s never satisfied

We’ve only got this one planet / Nothing compares 2 U


Today’s National/Global Poetry Writing Month prompt/challenge was to write a poem for Earth Day but I wanted to acknowledge the death of the great musician Prince, whose music has been around as long as I remember, and is an artist Himself and I really bonded over (among others). So I’ve done a cleave poem – a poem in two halves which can be read as two separate but totally different poems, while read together they form a third poem.