Virginia Purchon

Planet gripes

The planet heaved
And shuddered at its core,
Itching to be rid of parasites:
Mankind, crawling on its skin.

Mites that shaved its forests
Left its mountains bare;
Mites that burrowed deep
And stole its substances
To fashion artefacts to feed
Their purposes and greed,
And left it pockmarked
Scarred, bereft of soil;
Mites that congregated close
In ever denser hordes,
Built artificial structures high,
Fought between themselves
And did not heed
The pain that Gaia felt
From bombs and nuclear rain.
Mites whose waste and excrement
Sullied the planet’s blood,
Its rivers and its seas.

The planet roared in anger
And despair and sent a storm,
Tsunamis ocean long.
It blew volcanoes high
with fireworks to the sky,
Split its caverns wide,
Shifted its plates to grind
Rocks from their bed,
But could not rid itself
of parasites.

Then the planet sighed…
And life upon it died.

Born in the 1930s, Virginia has seen enormous change over the years. Inspired by one of her
teachers, she has written poetry since her teens. Her deep interest in the environment and wildlife is
often reflected in her poetry. As a mother and grandmother, she is also concerned to encapsulate
family relationships in her verse. After retiring from teaching in London, she and her husband moved to Somerset where they run a smallholding. Virginia also expresses herself through watercolour painting and pottery.