Engulf

The iris stares into my abyss
through flayed eyelids
and I can’t stand to look, can’t look away
from the all-knowing fire-tide –
this Demon, Oracle, Dark Lord
elemental from the earth’s core
whom we have angered awake.

No ocean has proved too deep, no sky too high
to prevent our endeavours.
We spread and scour the earth cracked, seeping flame
raining the debris of our own deeds

in mesmerising orange in white in blue
devastatingly beautiful hues
fanned out like an ocean daisy.
We are the eye of the storm

and now charred corals and carapace
are charcoal on the shore.
Whale shark carcasses
will unfurl on beaches like shipwrecks
where the air still tastes like singed salt.
Saliva boils in my throat.
I spiral in this chemical vortex

which, if squinting, could look like sunrise
blooming through the clouds
sowing a new day
where we mark this the end of our destruction
where we say, no more, and change our ways.

But it’s not. And for every incident that we dismiss
every time they get away with no real consequences
when we do nothing but smokescreen our inactivity
with 24-hour solidarity on Instagram stories
we anger the planet a little more.

I pray for you, Titan, to rise from your depths
and burn away this poisoned air
but you just reflect my stare.


For those of you who missed the news, here is the context for the poem via The Guardian. Full article here.

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