Day 23 — some sort of sonnet (actually not)

The theme behind today’s (belated posted, but written yesterday) poem is my lifelong love of Shakespeare. The original concept was to write a sonnet (ie the form he used to create some of the most famous love poems in the language); but that quickly slipped into something else. As preparation I reread (though I really don’t need much of an excuse) Bill Bryson’s slim but wonderful little volume on Shakespeare. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do. It might also help you get a couple of the, well let’s call them jokes, within the poem. Hahahaha.

little love song

not knowing why : bought a book : Christmas 84 : Campbell’s newsagency : Elizabeth Shopping Centre : remainders table : cheap large format : paperback : paper so cheap : can’t stress : how how cheap : navy blue cover : with a terrible reproduction : of the terrible Droeshout engraving : every play laid out : in tiny font : four columns wide : the sonnets : & long poems : across the bottom quarter : of every page : bland introduction : courtesy : Dennis Allen : M.A. (Oxon) : B.A. (Lond)

read every play : that summer : though the poems : (ironically) : didn’t : do much : probably wouldn’t : couldn’t : today : even with : binocular assistance : oh for the eyes : of youth : loved the wild plots : the stories : the eccentric characters : the humour : loved the language : both the archaic nature : & the richness : so much colour : how he could do : so much : with so few : no doubt didn’t : understand everything : no footnotes in Allen’s : tome : but got enough : to form a lifelong : love

today : love the fact : he annoys so many : conspiracy theorist : nutjobs : Looney : Battey : silly men : who can’t cope : with the idea : (theirs) : of a provincial : country bumpkin : being so talented : profound : influential : the so-called : Shakespeare authorship question : twists : certain men’s knickers : into such knots : they resort to : anagrams : cryptograms : & candidates who died : even as : new plays were : being performed : (solution : they pre-wrote : a wad of plays : prior to death) : was never a question : in his day : nor for : 200 years : the reality : most scholars : laugh : at the ludicrous claims : as : they : should  

Day 3 – 5 common myths about climate change

I began the day working on what I thought would be a suite of short poems under the title “10 common myths about climate change”

I thought it would be quick & easy to offer a witty one or two line rebuttal. It wasn’t. It was hard hard hard. & I’m not sure how much poetry they contain. The tough thing is so many answers require nuance (so much so, I’ve considered it as a possible title of a future poem) which i) takes time to explain & ii) deniers don’t seem to really want to know about.

So what you’re getting is 5 mythpomes. The other 5 might appear sometime in the future (or not). If they do, perhaps I can choose the best 2-3 to be the actual poem. However, having essentially written 5 pomes today, I wonder if I can have the next 4 days off.

Finally, to borrow from one of the articles I read: “the myths in this list have been studied thoroughly by climate scientists and repeatedly debunked. Yet they persist, often as a result of an organized disinformation campaign waged by special interests whose goal is to raise doubts among the public and delay action on human-caused climate change.”

5 common myths about climate change

Myth #1: It’s the sun.

Sure , the sun’s changed
intensity in the past 
causing profound 
climate modifications
often ice ages which form
over thousands of years
not the few hundreds 
scientists are studying 
— that said : solar irradiance 
is actually down a shade
from a post-war peak : so , no

Myth #2: Scientists disagree on the cause of climate change.

No , they don’t . Not climate scientists 
at least . Sure maybe there’s some botanists, 
paleontologists, seismologists & epidemiologists
who aren’t convinced — but do you 
go to a dentist for a heart transplant ;
or a podiatrist to have that weird
looking growth on your back
removed .

Myth #3: The climate has always changed. It’s natural.

Correct . 
Always has . Always will .

But .
What the deniers 
willfully overlook
is the unprecedented 
pace of change .
Temperatures have risen
10 times faster than during
the last mass extinction
56 million years ago .

Myth #4: It’s cold out. What happened to global warming?

Facepalm . This one should be easy .
Weather is not climate . The end .

Surely it’s obvious that Down Under
summer days can be over 40 degrees Celsius
for a weeks at a time while snow falls
in Cornwall .

Nor do these two diverse 
weather patterns preclude
broad temperature shifts 
across the entire Earth
over the course of months , years , and decades. 

Myth #5: Carbon dioxide levels are tiny. They can’t make a difference.

True , carbon dioxide 
(aka CO2) comprises a minute
fraction of our atmosphere
less than tenth of a percent . 
but that doesn’t mean
it’s not great at its job
— ie , trapping heat ;
CO2 punches above
its molecular weight .
For most of the past million years
carbon dioxide has been below 
280 parts per million
yet since the revolution 
of industry started
levels are now 415 parts per 
— 35% increase in a century
& a half . tiny you say ? 

For comparison
— at 1.3 parts per million
sarin gas irritates
mucus membranes ;
pulmonary issues begin
when exposures exceed 
15 parts per million ;
& you’re dead in thirty min
if the concentration 
tops 430 P.P.Ms .

it’s not the fraction 
that matters
but the effect it has

also true , CO2 
is only one of many
ironically water vapour
is the greenhouse gas
with the biggest impact ;
nitrous oxide & others
play their role too
(however , that’s a poem
for another day)

Day 2 – conspiracy kiss

Why is it always the usual suspects that get rounded up in the weirdest theories? 

conspiracy kiss

thankfully i : only have a few : in my friendship group : but why is it : the same people : who wildly warned me : exactly 12 months ago : that covid 19 : was a chinese invention : funded by bill gates : hillary’s pizza shop : & spread via 5g : designed to   :  :  :   oh, I dunno : something nefarious : involving : microchips : a new world order : & stopping trump from re-election

are the same : geniuses : who claim : human-caused climate change : is not really a thing : & call me (all of us) : sheeple : & beseech us : to : “do our own research” : which to them : means a youtube page : with several hundred views : & a blog written by : an angry : out of work : austrian geologist 

me : rather than think : i’m being conned : believe instead : in the KISS theory : of understanding things : which is : if a substantial number : of climate scientists : claim we’re over : heating the world : chances are : that’s what’s happening

Day 24 – moving from a playwright to a poet

Been working on a poem about zero, but I like it too much to put on here (publishers/journals are so finicketty about what’s classed as ‘previously published’, & lots are saying even a little ol blog like this disqualifies it).

So instead, you get this other poem I’ve been toying with today. Less successful, but an okay first draft perhaps. Poems about writers on consecutive days, was unintentional … On the plus side, this was based on an idea/several articles from my To Do List, so little boom for that!


much water, more salt
the last days of a great love poet

september 11’s,
have been occurring for centuries
americans do not have copyright
on the date though they might
like to think they do

one such,
sanctioned with behind-closed-doors CIA-backing
featured a right wing military coup
in a small South American country
where a democracy was taken down
& a dictator installed — within 12 days
three key opponents: the President, the Singer
& the Poet were all dead

a cornucopia of conspiracy
theories abound, suspicions, coincidences
the official death certificate claims
advanced incurable cancer of the prostate
led to his malnutritious wasting away
yet his chauffeur (who conveniently doubled
as bodyguard) had a different, simpler take —
he was injected with something at the clinic
& died the day before he was preparing
to escape into Mexican exile
after allegedly having been full of life
railing against the chaotic first days
of Pinochet — & enjoying sex

the Poet’s bones will be exhumed
from a grave near the sea
forensics experts will sift through
much water & more salt
to see if traces of poison

whatever they find,
……………………………..or don’t,
it’s unlikely to satisfy
those who don’t want to be