We worry about the weather, and whether or not we
can make a difference, sorting our recycling in the dark.
The floods have become so commonplace that they
don’t make the news unless a bus is swept away or a
fireman rescues a dog, because no one can resist
animals or minor heroics. We stopped driving so long
ago that we can’t remember where we left the car, and
we walk to work, the commute lasting days, sleeping in
farm buildings or under the stars, fighting nightmares
of having left the cooker on, and avoiding human
contact wherever possible. When the sun comes,
we smear ourselves in mud and leaves. There are rumours
of refugees walking across seas rammed with plastic,
only to find another war, but the wars have become so
commonplace that they don’t make the news unless it’s
close enough to smell the burning. We sort our
recycling in the dark, switch off appliances at the
mains. We worry about the weather, and whether or
not we’ll be next.
is a poet, photographer, occasional musician, and accidental academic, whose work has been published and performed internationally in and on diverse media. He has published seven poetry collections, most recently Learning to Have Lost (Canberra: IPSI, 2018), and has edited and co-edited several more, including (with Miles Salter) The Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry, which was a UK National Poetry Day recommendation in 2017. Oz is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University, where he leads the Creative Writing programs.