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Welcome to Climate Psychology Alliance - facing difficult truths about climate change and ecological crisis

The scrub oak
carpeting the valley

take only a few days
to change from verdant
through red, ochre to bleached brown.
More brutal loss than gradual natural turning.

It’s been coming.
Little rain for months now
leaving trees in survival mode
sacrificing extremities, preserving core life.
Leaves, like frostbitten fingers and toes, can go.
Tipping point reached, the change swift as a swallow.

Is this it
a sign of things to come?
Scorched wind broiling the brain.
Frying the un-set fruit on the trees
boiling peppers in the field where they lie.
The sun glaring hot and harsh and frightening.

Trees and humans rattle friably.
Dead leaves scrape across the pergola shade
and scratch the inner eye of Rasennan ghosts.
A sound to match and meet apocalyptic hooves.
A sound announcing the coming of the end of the world.
A sound that has fallen on deafened ears for far too long now.

©David Slattery (August 2017)


About the poem:

I wrote this from the experience of living through the current drought/heatwave known as Lucifero, in a wooded valley on the Umbrian/Tuscan border. To see much of the valley (seeming to?) die over a few days has been very disturbing and upsetting, jolting me awake to the perilous times we live in.

About the poet:

I am a poet and work as a psychotherapist. I’m currently writing a book about ‘The third Body’, the space in-between. I publish poems regularly on facebook here