but we'd hardly guessed the total
before we really started burning the trees.
Behind copper clouds of Saharan sands
the sun is red with Portugal's wild fire.
It's rained fruit in the street.
I pick up a Disney red apple and a Tango'd satsuma.
Is this our next plague: falling fruit
so cheap that once dropped it's rubbish,
trashed because it's touched tarmac,
not even soiled with some dirty earth?
Maybe it's a joke?
Someone's injected laxative, or drugs, or mercury
and they're nearby, sniggering,
filming, itching to share my greed or stupidity.
Dare I eat?
But perfect as they look,
(and why wouldn’t bait look this good?)
they're reassuringly tasteless.
No hint of pesticide residue, rainforest slash-and-burn,
or stolen village stream
that is the global brand of mass food production.
So bland and sweet only to the eye!
Three plagues already this Tuesday.
Then from the west the hurricane howls.
Each year it's the storm of the century.
Waves taller than churches no longer shock.
No bigger brag than your online boast:
yeah, I was there, at the end of the world.
© Phil Coleman
Phil Coleman lives near Swansea and tries to balance work and the need to write. At the age of 50 he's still a complete tyro at everything except juggling words.