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Blog - Richard Downes

The Challenge – Extinction


The Highgate Challenge on extinction actually got 3 poems out of me. I was able later to link in with Extinction Rebellion Tower Hamlets and contribute a video sequence to one of their fundraisers during lock down. Delighted to present it here. My co-reader is Jean Bayliss

The Challenge – Extinction

I remember municipal clocks
Before diamond mines were robbed
The clerical staff all told the time
Whilst poets like me toiled hard to rhyme

And I remember drinking fountains
Before water got taken from spas and mountains
To wash about in bottles of plastic
And I could rhyme without being didactic

Now coca and pepsi litter our shores
Piling plastic bottles higher than tors
Blake’s green and pleasant land is rearranged
Turned to brown by climate change

Toxic fumes stop our children breathing
Now is not the time for grieving
For we must strive with great conviction
To save ourselves from life’s extinction

2nd June 2019

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