Dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II
In memory of Muriel Noreen who protested nuclear weapons
Both wore a poppy
Ghostly coal carts rattle on, along the cobbled streets
While on the Clyde, worlds collide in well considered civil courtesy
Autocrats and Titans, anxious and expectant youth and small countries with great pride
Prattle on across a great divide of inequality gone wild
On and off the high road and the low, youth names it more blah blah
For those who fell in foreign fields no more the poppies grow
Two pints then on a Saturday night meant Glasgow belonged to me
Now in retreat away from the bonny, bonny banks of Clyde
Where now no more the red red rose, sweet melody of love
As rocks melt with heat my dear and seas are running high
We can only take a cup of kindness yet and wait for Auld Lang Syne
Year 2021, our 26th to heaven or to demise of habitat and mankind
Darkly dusted skies and fear as breath comes heavy on the chest
Polluted plumes of sand and ash with rising levels of the tide
The gavel falls but not the gravel everywhere
While on display poppies pleasing to the eye, button holed on this Remembrance Day
Recalling those who never aged and gave up life for us
Though fallen fortunate not to see this landmark day of shame
Of cop-out never cope, of phasing down but never phasing out
Emerging plans that sap-out remaining drops of hope
As fragile humanity fights to manage and maintain a universal mind.
Can we row in synchrony to keep our earth afloat?
Sing in unison with all mankind and keep humanity on some safe course
Steer clear from fear of holes awaiting all on earth
Maintain a well-chilled solid polar cap, stay meltdown of the ice-fields there
Keep one point five alive, or song falls flat and harmony does not survive
As temperature rises, which is not that surprising
With black coal stoking the furnace burning youth’s dreams
Can we build a shielding sombrero to cover the pole
Protect northern skies
Or is blah blah just pie in the sky.
Can we plug up above, the gaping hole in the ozone’s thin layer
Block too much heat getting in stop too much cold getting out
Check dust bowls coming loose, hold back fast desert growth
Clean up polluted plastic seas; befriend the buzz of buzzing bumble bees
Secure sufficient food for all desperate needs put food on the table on every man’s plate
Can we ensure greater value to life, eradicate hate
Deconstruct the concept to all known as race.
Can we overcome the deepest sense of dark despair?
Dry up everywhere, misinformation floating in air
Do we listen, can we learn, or just let dry woodlands burn
Beware of trippers, destination Mars, warring warriors bound for some other star
Take care; they may try to abscond with earth’s butterfly of hope
Can we return the seas to more fish, let mammalian whales be?
Stop killing for fins, elephant’s tusks or rhino’s bones
Become true citizens of the world, not just of Athens or of Timbuktu.
Can we push through solutions, refuse to confuse, refuse vice but virtue to choose
Cause deserts to bloom fuller or perish for having side-stepped nature’s rules
Yes youth can, yes global citizen will they become
Pushing back yes as they must
Otherwise the world will go bust
No longer heard then the chimes of Big Ben
No more do vapors emerge languidly from a fertile soil
No more church incense or sense of perfume on a cheek, the smell of coffee in a cup.
Not in Sudan, Afghanistan or in the Yemen
Hearts broken, bodies beaten, trapped on barbed borders
Through which no help or aid can pass
Death coming from cold, dehydration or bullets of brass
Refugee mothers, children sleeping on cold wet grass
Having survived the dirty hold of some dark ship, a cruel captain’s whip
Sans shelter, sans water, sans bread, sans all.
On time the sun once rose, a mournful moon touched lightly the wild rose
Day got underway, unfolded in a million ways and everywhere abundant hope
Not in Haiti, Nigeria, Myanmar, Somalia or in Zanzibar
While on the Clyde hope flows away with much blah blah
Hope that our leaders can stop our world from breaking down
We hoped they’ll cope bring back butterflies of hope
Stop more flowers from fading faster in spring
Sea summer drippings sizzle on hot rock beneath a shoeless foot
As water evaporates fast with autumn mists muddier than wine must
Blood boils, wine warms, no transfusion, toast or jam
No more upon the midnight clear, owl’s hoot or nightingale song.
Fragrant blossoms lemon, cherry, no more lace tranquil evening air
No more apples, oranges and pears or honeysuckle or radiant rose
To intoxicate the nose, fill eyes with joyous tears
Or help to comfort older ones as they drop in on yesteryear
No more the beat, base and treble clef
No more the horn of plenty, empty, just lean years.
Earth trembles as its axis jumps, banks buckle, bones break while roofs cave in
Again once more on the Glasgow’s deserted streets is heard
The distinct call of "gardyloo" and see
Upended cars, collapsing homes and now a homeless treeless world
Winter all year round takes hold, rushing water and lightning strikes
Not needed now holes dug in the ground the folks have all long gone
Oh god forbid a time with the basket of the planet bare
Eroded earth, cracked lips, no sip of water and lives of infinite despair
No longer pealing chimes, silenced now the bells of old Big Ben,
No ripening cherry, no laden orchard anywhere
A homeless world, no baby’s cry
The world’s no stage, the entrance and exit closed.
Can we stop; slow down the undoing of our world?
The burning, flooding and polluting of the skies
Restore our world with glory, hope and splendid green
Blue oceans, sunsets red, rivulets and gently flowing rivers to the sea
All men and women equal and all people free
Yes we must keep smiles alive and well above a smile of one point five
Retain laughter, nourish each and every babies’ cry
Yes we can, we must bring tomorrow this way back again
No we shall not let this world come all undone, no no
To fill deep pockets of the few and many of their cronies too.
No we shall not let the world go bust; dust unto dust
We shall not let the body’s water balance break down
Skin dry, lips parched as vital organs thirst
Cells shrink their membranes fray and burst
Blood no longer pumping by a once and carefree heart
Hearts can’t survive a rise of more than one point five
A higher rise and mankind will lie at full fathom five
Bleached coral bones and, pearly eyes as coal still burns
A stagnant world of fossilized minds and souls
And all what is left on earth sinks deeper and will become
New found coal a trilennia from now.
Year 2021, our 26th to heaven or to demise of earth and man
Few wise hands to hand back hope to life
A road map to the future of no-cope
Net-zero no and one point five will not survive
Leaving now what happens up to youth
Leaving what happens to all youth to act together
To ramp up our world with new found hope and glory
We will not let you bring it to its knees
We’ll not let it fall apart, come all undone
Picked and stripped lean for mineral wealth
Peeled like a fruit for gain.
Should you go home again it may be to homelands without sun
That long for light in valleys, hilly slopes and on the grassless plains
Longing for smells of woodland and high highland blooms
We will not let go of our fragile grip on trust
When spring comes round again we must make sure
Frogs will croak, lambs frisk, birds chirp, foals neigh
Fishermen in boats and lovers in the bay at night
Moonlight kissed trees, sun freckled leaves shimmering with bright light
Olives maturing well, oozing in shrinking autumn days
Olive branches that can be waved
When springs come round again next year.
Till then can we fulfill our promises to youth
Yearning as only youth can for quality and life in years to come?
Fed-up with what until now has been done
Anxious that only pyramids of Egypt will survive as dunes
Covered in the desert’s sand
Anxious as summer and winter may not reappear next year
Troubling doubts, droughts and high temperature tears
Will our world just disappear?