There is No Planet B

22 Nov

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wasps drunk with the rotting juice 

of crab apples.  It is late October, paths 

slick with mud and the green-wellied. 

You arrived on time, all of you somehow 

subdued, the youngest masked, in boots 

and cut-offs, older, unhappily nursing a cold. 

The house looked chilly too: Palladian, stark, 

weathered yellow stone, but the cattle, 

dozy heifers, spread across the fields, 

chewed as if content with the state of the world.  

We ate lunch, benched and distanced, in a cold, 

swirling wind.  The trees across the fields 

were bright with colour, their last fling of 

yellows and browns, all hints of green gone.  

There were tears as we left, fear of the future, 

sadness for the past.  Driving home, 

the weather broke, autumn afternoon 

transformed by dark clouds and rain that blinded, 

the windscreen masked by water.  

We swept under a bridge: 

‘There is no Planet B’ the bleak letters 

proclaimed.  We drove on into another 

biblical storm, spray and rain and sun 

together consuming all colour, bar 

an ominous silver, a funereal, brittle grey.

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