Thursday, 21 September 2017

A Lament of Water

A few years ago at St Leonard's church Assisi, I met an international water consultant. we had a fascinating conversation about the sheer waste of water in supply systems across the world - a situation that the Italian-based engineer advises on with a view to finding remedies. The volume of wasted water he described points to unbelievable levels of negligence, which I have tried to reflect in the following poem, which my engineer friend has checked for accuracy - and for that, I am most grateful. There are also major international questions as to who ‘owns’ water - but that’s another major topic for another time!
A Lament of Water
You seek me on far distant planets,
knowing I signal life.
Yet you who need me abuse me,
In hideous measure
Through ill-tended pipes.

At least one third of me, treated,
ensuring I'm drinkably pure,
is lost as I pass, through the mains, to a tap;
‘tis profligate! That's to be sure.

So whilst others struggle collecting
me, trekking to worrying source,
you have no concern for what you can't see,
that from stricken  pipeworks
I constantly burst.




Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Paradise Island Dreams

‘Moonglow’ by the author

Darkness stretches to the horizon,
speckled grey reflects a struggling moon;
close to my invisible feet
a gravelly surge tells me soon
the waves will undermine
the tiny promontory where I stand;
steady for now but in only minutes
my dreamer’s knoll will be engulfed 
in the unpredictably shifting sand.

I will stay, I will stay for a while
transfixed by the infinite
rhythm of the waves.
Tonight the ocean’s gentle swell
masks the latent violence
that makes it the realm of innumerable graves.

Transient glints from the downcast sky
cause me to reflect;
there, beyond my constrained eye
and my pedestrian imagining
are deep trenches, 
mighty sub-surface mountains,
scintillating reefs;
mortuaries - millions of shells, no longer in use:
slithering predators, giving no relief 
to myriads of fish of dizzily entrancing hues.

And in the deeper, deeper waters
sinister gyres
where we, ultimate predators,
ultimate polluters 
cast plastic, glass and toxic refuse
unthinkingly
from boats, shorelines, rivers and streams
adding to the natural death toll:
so rapidly, all too rapidly
we poison everyone’s
paradise island dreams.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Extending the Life of the Planet: Yes We Can!




Helped by science, we’ve reduced the dangerous ozone hole;
China is, with foresight, turning down its coal;
there are otters, fish and wildfowl in rivers once deemed dead;
we’re more concerned when species’ lives hang dangling on a thread.

So with some careful measures and a will to rearrange,
we can stop the planet heading for a dangerous climate change;
and each of us can contribute by thinking day-by-day
of switching off, recycling waste and throwing less away.

Below, rainbow cards of this poem  to print out for circulation at appropriate events. May I encourage you to distribute them as widely as you can. They focus on achievement andthe positive and may, therefore, have an impact that will be greater than some more forceful messages!


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Truth to Power: A Villanelle.

Recently: August 20th - watched new #AlGore film: concerns re-awakened, making me want to capture them in a Villanelle to use the repetitive emphases of that form of poem. August 25th More difficult than expected but poem completed. Then August 26th see news of extreme monsoon rain in Bangladesh India and Nepal; storm Harvey and the catastrophe of Texas and now Louisiana. Our hearts go out to the huge number of people afflicted - and with the shocking thought that all of us in the West have, in very high probability, contributed to the awfulness.




Expect more weather of wildest extremes.
Until we replace every fossil fuel
We’ll see murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

The stuff of nightmares, not rosy dreams.
Winds and storms frequently, massive and cruel;
Expect more weather of wildest extremes;

Ugly smogs blanket dense urban scenes,
CO2’s impact on planet, lethal,
As more murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

Polar ice dies; its melting rates obscene
Confirm climatology is truthful. 
Expect more weather of wildest extremes;

Wildfires to make tired firefighters blaspheme,
Long droughts render farms unsustainable,           
Elsewhere murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

Campaign for change: don’t look on, resentful,
Mount challenges to power proving neglectful.
Expect more weather of wildest extremes,
As those murderous floods supplant gentle streams.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Good Stewardship: A Community Resource Possibility on Your Local Church Roof!

For some time this possibility for older churches seemed to have the insuperable problem that solar panels would never be allowed on a Grade I or II (English) listed building. No longer! There are panels on Grade I listed churches and even on a Cathedral. Hence the poem/shallenge below

Good Stewardship?

Every day,
powerful rays of the sun
rain down 
on a multitude,
of passive,             
south-facing
church roofs.

Could those barren acres
be converted into
fruitful energy providers? 
Thus, of good stewardship, 
rendering proof.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Plea of an Unborn Child


Image found on 'Babycenter blog'. (13 weeks)

Dearly beloved Mother, you are, just now, 
the only person to whom I can talk.
You are my sustenance, my comfort,
my very life; and it will be much the same
up to and beyond that special day when I can walk.

Today I want to ask you
that you will do all you can to ensure
the world into which I will be born
will sustain me and your grandchildren,
and not be so hideously transformed
that we will find it impossible to live without fear
of disasters, even wars, brought about
by too much or too little water, violent winds,
extremes of cold and heat:
and a probability of having to weep all-too-frequent tears.

Please,please, listen to discerning,
careful, forward-thinking scientists
and whenever possible, 
tell those who pursue the relentless exploitation of fossil fuels -
and everything that follows in its wake -
that you need them to draw it to a rapid halt, for my sake
and for every single child of my generation.

Please go on marches,
write indignant letters,
organise petitions,
argue with vehement determination,
that I and all of us-in-waiting
may not have to mourn the earth,
but live as you would no doubt have us live,
to welcome our children
in the fullness of time,
with joyous celebration. 

More information on this theme at
NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming

Friday, 11 August 2017

Bottles, Bags and Micro-plastics



Image from journey to the plastic ocean

Tidal waves of jettisoned plastic
Overwhelm glorious golden sand.
Thoughtlessly discarded bottles
and single-trip bags
spawn a shameful, coastal wasteland.

Sinister flows of toxic outfall
ooze from here, to the ocean’s despair.
Fragments of micro-plastics 
swirl endlessly among fish,
who feed on this cynical harvest
entirely unaware.
 
In another yield from the deep,
bright crystals of table-salt
are likewise pervaded
which we then ingest. 
So might wisdom commend,  
a STOP PLASTICS approach?


Trevor Thorn © 2017

Written after reading Lucy Siegle’s Ethical Living Column ‘The Eco Guide to Microplastics', Observer 6th August 2017.

More information on this theme at
A Plastic Planet
Surfers Against Sewage
Journey To The Plastic Ocean

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

White Sails

Image from ‘The Earth Project’ site
White Sails 
My heart leaps with joy
to see great white sails
welcoming their friend,
a strong and steady breeze.

These are today’s
worthy successors
to the multitude of windmills
we gradually discarded
in favour of the efficiency
of burn-away fossil fuels.

Jettisoning them, 
we sent grain further,
consumed yet more fuel ,
and wrapped regimented loaves
in lethal plastic.

So welcome to these gentle giants
with their swirling symmetry,
as they gracefully draw afresh
from the ever-present air
its generous bounty
of cleanly harvested energy.


© Trevor Thorn

Monday, 7 August 2017

Enemy Fleet in Fulham Reach


Since the abandonment of the wooden piers,
evocative of a past, stretching back
to when the most primitive boats were known,
this tidal thoroughfare grew sick
from the outpourings
of numberless, noxious, industrial flows.

Today, it is restored!
Dace, roach and perch
again find nourishment
from the cleaner stream,
as do a score of avian breeds.
It is a triumph to have achieved
a river so 'green'.

Yet, as the tide recedes
exposing messy, muddy banks,
swans, geese and ducks
battle their way between
a convoy of enemy craft, most dire!
Carelessly discarded cola bottles
free of their sugar-laden cargo,
surge on their inexorable way
towards a gigantic, malevolent gyre.


© Trevor Thorn 2017

More information on this theme at
A Plastic Planet
Surfers Against Sewage

Journey To The Plastic Ocean