To read the latest issue, click 'Issues by year' in the menu above

You were asked for green-leaning short forms on that other crisis, the environmental one, and in came a flood of haikus, limericks, triolets, double dactyls, quatrains and octets. Among these, Eve Best connected dying with frying, Susanna Clayson asked Is it true that our planet will die/As temperatures rise will we fry? and Peggy Landsman mentioned hot air of both kinds. Meanwhile, Martin Elster, as well as pedalling round the galaxy, pined for drongos, meerkats and steinbucks in the Kalahari, only to have second thoughts. Inevitably, what with melting ice, belching bovines, extinction and subduction the global outlook came down predominantly on the catastrophic side in these climate-tipping times. Below, in no particular order, are the entries that pierced the judge’s pandemic bubble, with the usual thanks to all those who took part.


Group of geee flying against blue sky


L. A. Mereoie: Fouling Piece

If now to cleanly kill a goose
Risks words that border on abuse
What searing verbal retribution
Fits those whose method is pollution?

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Martin Elster: Two Haiku

A mutant toad hops
past a yellow warning sign.
A sign of the times.

A plastic rabbit
on a pesticide-sprayed lawn
waiting for live ones.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Pat D’Amico: Carbon Dioxide

Since everyone now is masked,
We are unwittingly tasked
With saving the planet’s skin
By breathing our carbon back in.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Alan Millichip: Lights Out

A day when the wind didn’t blow,
Smart panels covered in snow;
No lights in the park,
The pubs in the dark . . .
Three cheers! Our emissions are low.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

John Wood: Existential Health Warning

Sharelessly carelessly
We who've lived easily,
Plundering Earth for our
Comfort and wealth,

Print on your packets: "Stop!
Doing nothing's certain to
Damage your health."

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Robin Helweg-Larsen: Subduction

All human nature, conflicts, nations, and all races
will be washed as by tides on beaches, all loves and lusts
will with Time disappear, all human traces
washed under as all plates are washed
by the subduction of Earth’s crusts.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Peggy Landsman: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

These days
so many critters
go extinct.

I wonder
which ones went
when I just blinked.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Michael R. Burch: Just Desserts

“The West Antarctic ice sheet might
not need a huge nudge to budge.”
– Paleoclimatologist in Science.

And if it does budge,
denialist fudge
may force us to trudge
neck-deep in sludge!

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

D. A Prince: Decisions, Decisions

It’s raining and the shop’s a mile away.
Only a mile away – but, still, it’s raining.
So, two miles there and back (and rain all day).
Being this eco-conscious is so draining.

But getting in the car is not OK.
It’s only to myself that I’m explaining.
Get wet? Or save the planet? I can’t say.
The shop’s no closer – and the rain’s still raining.

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Mike Mesterton-Gibbons: Wordy Missions

The trouble with green politicians
Who jet-set to spout new conditions
For climate renewal
Is they merely fuel
Their own and the planet's emissions!

◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊   ◊

Ken Chester: Flatus Status

“Cows, pigs and other farm livestock in Europe are
producing more greenhouse gases every year
than all of the bloc’s cars and vans put together,
when the impact of their feed is taken into account,
according to a new analysis by Greenpeace.”
– Guardian

A feed crop first sees forests felled,
Then, after being cut, transmutes
To slurry constantly expelled
From multitudes of munching brutes.

Just milk and meat to blame for it,
Millions of methane-venting rumps?
Let’s add the leaders who emit
Globe-rotting gas, like ex-Prez Trump’s.

3 ear-tagged cows facing camera