Barbara Lawton


The night tastes of autumn
and summer’s epitaph is a shallow gate
already closing.

Seasons knock prematurely now,
cross thresholds uninvited,
wreck landscapes with their mayhem boots,
punch communities powerless.

Searing heat, irrational storms,
unstoppable fire and fatal flood:
these are the weapons seasons fling now
with relentless precision in anger.

And we gifted them this terror,
through greed-stained denial
and political complacency.
We did this:
exploited nature,
abandoned equality,
killed our own planet.

The hottest temperature,
the deepest drought,
the earliest blackberries;
the weakest shout.
Records tumble and nobody claims the medals.

Yes, the night tastes of autumn
and an epitaph swings from a broken gate,
foretelling our squandered fate.

Barbara Lawton

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