THE COP26 climate conference in Glasgow next month, where Boris Johnson will be grandstanding his bonkers Net Zero plan for Britain, will also feature readings by the winners of a poetry competition.
Contestants up to the age of 25 from all parts of the world were asked to compose verses for the summit on the theme of ‘Poems to Solve the Climate Crisis Challenge’.
The first prize went to a 19-year-old American girl, whose offering is called An Alternative Geometry of the Universe.
Sadly, my multi-poem entry was rejected – the judges said I’m too old, I blatantly plagiarised William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Thomas Gray, and I ‘failed to embrace the spirit of COP26’. See if you agree . . .
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high thro’ heavenly channels
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of monstrous solar panels
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Rattling annoyingly in the breeze.
Blotting landscape, dark, malign
In serried ranks they stretched away
A never-ending, choking line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Producing power? Not a chance!
The waves beside them danced; but they
Lay row on row quite uselessly
The sky was sombre, murky grey,
Not one photon floating free.
I gazed – and gazed – and then I thought
These costly panels brought us nought.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
Blanket-huddled in bitter mood
They flash upon my inward eye
And aggravate my attitude;
And then I don my warmest flannels,
And go out to smash those solar panels.
I met a traveller from England,
Who said: ‘A vast and trunkless leg of steel
Stands in the North Sea surf . . . Near it, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered generator lies, whose rusted coils,
And twisted shafts, and broken rods,
Tell that its maker well its transience read.
Solely survive these lifeless things,
Built in arrogance, by folly fed;
And on the baseplate, these words appear:
My name is Whizzymandias, Turbine of Turbines;
Look on my Blades, ye Climate Deniers, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The cold and darkened cities stretch far away.’
Elegy in a Net Zero World
The blackout seals the dark of parting day,
The alfalfa fields stretch widely o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
Hoping power is restored for tea.
Now fades the windless turbine on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Those bloody blades ain’t turned since Monday night
And everyone is getting coughs and colds
The telly giving traffic news at dawn,
The radio playing Right Said Fred,
The Teasmade, or the shrill car horn,
No more shall rouse folk from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
No coal, no logs, shall blight the Reconstruct
For warmth, each must now take his turn
To be breathed on from a Polo sucked.
In Net Zero World, the future is a dud
Life’s gone from comfortable to crappy
But Gates and Soros tell folks: ‘All is good.
You have nothing and you’re happy.’