I feel the continental drift
of shifting geography:
the sun no longer overhead;
an unfamiliar sea;
a jagged barrier reef surrounds
an inaccesible shore
and ice – how thick I do not know –
where water was before.
Where is that quiet green valley
where heron and kingfisher flew?
A ridge of stone as bare as bone
blocks it from my view.
A flat and recent Sahara
covers remembered hills
and over the top of my childhood home
the lurid lava spills.
Where is my big-windowed, happy house?
Where my tall green wood?
All I see now is a dark smoking scar
where home and forest once stood
and a sea of mud the colour of blood
was a lake where white lillies grew;
volcanic and strange, a mountain range
bleeds over fields I once knew
No feral forces fed those fires
to sweep my past away;
no howling hurricanes spread the flames
to make night as bright as day.
No irresistible seismic thrust
pushed up that massive range.
Some weakness at the heart of things
permitted all this change.