We are living in apocalyptic times. The headlines have been dominated by our coronavirus plague, climate change and Black Lives Matter, and they remind us of why the times are apocalyptic- because we destroy the environment and we treat other people and other races inhumanely.
I belong to a small group of authors who write pieces about environmental subjects- it’s a sub-section of the local writer’s group. At the moment they are asking for submissions about the 2020 rainbow. This is a subject close to my heart because of an experience I had in March 2020, when I think I had the coronavirus (although I can’t be 100 per cent certain, because it was at the beginning of the outbreak here in the UK, and no general testing was being done.)
They won’t be publishing the submissions yet, but in advance here is my poem, about the 2020 and Noah’s Ark rainbow.
Lying back on the sofa.
It was so exhausting to be ill
Without that extra worry:
Will I get pneumonia next week?
Millions of other people
Painfully processing that same fear.
Then I saw it:
The rainbow on the wall.
Refracted sunlight through the window-
A natural phenomenon,
But it rarely happens here.
I quickly photographed it,
Then went back to bed.
A month later, out walking,
Rainbows surrounded me everywhere:
On windows, on pavements,
Chalked with children’s’ crayons.
Messages of hope,
And other meanings too, for me.
My eyes fell on numerous flowers
Pushed into the smallest spaces,
Through the fences, by the lakes,
Spilling over garden walls,
Everywhere in such profusion,
Sprays of every size.
Colours from the rainbow spectrum,
Other shades that lay between
Like semitones in music.
Why were there so many?
Because there were no cars?
People soon began to speak
Of things we’d said we wanted:
Road closures, streets for people,
Cycling instead of driving,
Much more walking, running, jogging-
Plans to make this longer term.
Now our wishes might be granted.
Seize the chance and make it happen-
Let’s not miss the moment.