The Eleventh Hour
Beyond the last post
a virgin pathway bisects
an empty golf course
see blue, grey and gold
where waters meet and dusk falls
birdsong fills the air
witness the sunset
through silhouetted branches
defying the dark
time to hit the pause button >>>
becomes a one-way system
for the contactless
overtaking with care
an old man in reverse gear
afraid to turn round
I curse two women
blocking with idle chatter
the aisle of my dreams
habits die hard in the void
— Geof Keys (Hexham, Northumberland, United Kingdom)
* * *
Toward a car-less world
Next to my downtown condo is a large parking lot for the city workers. Overnight, when COVID hit and the workers started working from home, the lot went from being filled with cars to nearly empty. Instead of seeing drivers circling to find a space to park, I looked out one morning to see a lone roller skater circling the concrete lot: each round a graceful arc toward a car-less world.
— Barbara Bryn Klare (Athens, Ohio)
* * *
Empathy, Our Downfall
“My body, my choice.” A rallying cry for the pro-choice movement, repurposed to fight against the oppressiveness of masks. I wonder where we in the United States would be if our government had told us to wear masks not to protect others, but rather our own selves. Our own families. Would we still find the piece of cloth, this simple solution, this near-infallible immunity for those in our vicinity the object of so much controversy?
And if we didn’t, what would that say about us?
— Surina Venkat (West Melbourne, Florida)
* * *
In the Refuge We Built
Moist earth cascading through nimble fingers.
A melody enhanced by the spicy fragrance of lemongrass and turmeric remnants lingering on dew-kissed skin.
Content joy radiates from the pair of us, eager to absorb the intimate sun
nestled in Green mountains.
We are the lucky few.
Fortunate to not have been uprooted in disarray.
Spring blossomed and we never lost trust.
We never learned not to touch or to inhale through masked fabric.
Isolation symbolized our boundless expansion of being still, intertwined, close.
Cloaked now in misty fog cityscape, I remember the freedom of our lungs in the refuge we built.
— Imara-rose Glymph (San Francisco, California)
This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.