The day the sun didn’t rise

Bondi climate change deniers September 2009

It’s almost a year since the climate chaos future broke into Sydney with the red vengeance of a massive dust storm. The poem was written shortly after the event. (First published in The Post-Man Letters & Other Poems , Picaro Press, 2010 forthcoming).

The day the sun didn’t rise

I will show you fear in a handful of dust
– T.S. Eliot, ‘The Burial of the Dead’/The Wasteland (1922)

Lake Eyre blew in from the west
increasing jobs and GDP

from Bega to Bundaberg.
A woman in Petersham

looked up through her dawn
skylight and saw Armageddon.

Unchosen, she felt less
than enraptured. In Bondi

joggers jogged on,
dogged surfers surfed

red waves heaving like vomit
on a late night cruise ship.

Commuters simply switched
on their lights. Around water

coolers the camp of climate
change deniers were louder

than usual: just a conspiracy
of car wash companies.

Strangled asthmatics worked
their puffers like demons.

Building workers struck
while bees were busy

bringing back pollen dust
red as blood or communism.

For one whole day Australia
covered its stock oxymoronic

smiles with hankies, masks,
frowns. All were linked

in a serious hush of eerie
and bizarre before this

passing, overwhelming unity
made of soiled sky

and the desert of our hearts
was quickly deflected

into flicker and twitter,
the Great Red Out

you-tubed into its
five minutes of fame.

Stay tuned. All tipping
points will be televised.

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~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on September 5, 2010.

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