2 poems by Alison Lock

    1816. ‘The Year without Summer’.

    On Mr Turner’s canvas the sun sets

    sap green, cadmium yellow, smudge-umber.

    Mount Tambor’s magma has risen, molten

    ash and dust block out the sun. Mary Shelley

    incubates her Frankenstein as spectres roam

    the ruined fields, crops rust. There is no harvest.

    The call to revolt is ‘Bread or Blood!’

    As snow falls in flakes of burnt sienna

    the artist’s pallet records a climate cursed.

    2019. Summer.

    It is hard to believe

    in extinction

    but here we are


    in slow grief

    to watch tulips

    in gardens

    open their cups

    to the burning sun

    as we drive by

    on a highway

    turning down

    the drone

    to discern

    the melody

    of songbirds.


    Alison Lock is a poet and writer of short fiction. Her latest collection of poetry, Revealing the Odour of Earth, is published by Calder Valley Press. Her work focuses on the relationship of humans and the environment, connecting an inner world with an exploration of land and sea. www.alisonlock.com