Venie Environmental Poetry Prize

How We Get Through Accidentally by Geraldine Burrowes

like mammoths in tar
most of the universe is missing
dark matter and noble gasses
keep it from falling apart

lines of liquid in full solar glare detect soft
-ware the data so far doesn’t check
who set it off won’t matter
two hearts balanced on surfboards
white skiffs glide past
ominous sea dips them in
and out like tusks

tectonic plates disperse
bubbles rain on the wind’s pollination
quenching petals
continental drift documents
how diversity widows spiders
monitors monitor for new introductions
all the citizens get behind it to train

at hay point further north
the reef mix sours
milky sea snakes and stars turn brown
an upturned wing of the stingray
chases its shadow
every child seeking a safer shore
shivers as though in chromatic chords
back to the start

cycling
today I can see
why christ wanted to walk on water
dark lashes have lolled on the cheek
softly closing the eye of a storm
sun sparkles everything deep
a blue surprise holds up
a container
a figure coming out on the ship

yachts have lazied a safe lagoon
one sail bellows and flaps
nature words like acorns
wash up discards from the oxford dic
a plant pot sways on a poly raft
till it flowers a rubber glove
three gulls paddle the last sandbar
the dog can’t fathom

penguins doze between boulders
even the tourists don’t speak
sea-hair swirls in from the seal meadows
further out
a family jump off junk bond territory
hurling themselves from spain or greece
gulls groan and scavenge
dunes stretch but won’t resign
minute tentacles curl
under manic attack
a wheel of eleven arms spins

time the thing we all lack
flips and flops
not a charade but death
in a ring of shells a child has left
swans bob around the groin of rocks
the music heats over punk and piaff
before waters rise
twenty megabytes per sec
morricone sampled and re-tracked

aerial bombs and thirst for water
vaporise pieces of love
tearing the planet in caesium seconds
a jet trails the sky
four hundred and twenty
more goodbyes
shuffling decks

to the weather now the newsreader says
no relief date yet
unable to take the really nice steps
we hold to feral predation

sand grains in the journey of a hero
down the hour-glass stalled
in the power
our plastic towers

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