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.
It is hard to believe
but here we are
in slow grief
to watch tulips
open their cups
to the burning sun
as we drive by
on a highway
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