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Shut up, the wrestling’s on by Laura Strickland

When he staggered back
on a Saturday afternoon
he’d switch the wrestling on

and you had to be quiet.

He’d tell you to move
and his wasted body
would fall into his chair,

then the snoring would start
and you’d creep up to the TV
and turn over, but never

get the volume down quick enough.

You’d go to bed and think about
how it would be in a hundred years
without sweaty wrestlers writhing ‘round

to the sound of him slurring them on.

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This Mossland Will Conquer by Lorna Smithers

‘Chat Moss brast… first corrupting with stinkinge water Glasebrooke, and so Glasebrooke carried stinkinge water and mosse into Mersey water, and Mersey corrupted carried the roulling mosse, part to the shores of Wales, part to the isle of Man, and some unto Ireland.’
— John Leland, 1526

This mossland will conquer its bunds
by the power of cottongrass and rain and sphagnum
it will defy the ditches and the drains

we built once upon a time and now block
with plastic piling, bunds and dams, malls and spades.
This mossland will conquer its bounds

growing millimetre by millimetre a year
it will conquer Little Woolden, Great Woolden,
Astley, Worsley, Bedford, and Barton.

Flooding the Glazebrook and the Mersey
it will wash up on the shores of Ireland then riding oceanic
currents it will conquer every continent.

This mossland will conquer the world,
the universe and everything beyond the human imagination.
This mossland will finally conquer us.

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AS ONE We Walk This Earth Together by Alan Smith

AS ONE we lead our lives together,
AS ONE our lives create such waste,
AS ONE we disregard, mistreat this planet,
AS ONE our shortfalls must now be faced.

Mother Earth, survivor, all enduring,
But pollution nears her to the brink.
For her, for us, for coming generations
AS ONE we must step back and think.

AS ONE we need to be responsive,
AS ONE, each accountable for this goal,
AS ONE, clean up our act together, else
AS ONE we’ll finally loose control.

For all the flora and the fauna,
For all the animals that share this place,
We must, AS ONE, now grasp the nettle,
Change this destruction, save our human race.

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Still Life by Ian Seed

When I walk alone in the park among smiling families, larking youths and giggling girls, it’s as beautiful as a painting come to life. It’s as if someone were watching all of us. But what will happen when the gallery closes at the end of the day, and the bright picture is plunged into darkness? Will we still be here then? As I walk on, I feel strangers fix their gaze upon me, pinning me in the air. In the end, I am no longer moving at all, though I swing my arms and pump my legs absurdly like a puppet.

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The Centre by Ruth Osman

Here we stand,
palm to palm,
a spider’s web
spanning oceans,
our threads anchored
to brutal histories, buoyed
by renegade winds.

Along the arc
of our intentions,
fugitive futures bloom,
tight buds tethered
to loam, nurtured
by hands grown craggy
with toil, grimed
with the soil
of our aspirations.

is the centre —
in the fellowship
of trees, dancing
to the wind’s lavway.

is the centre —
where feet drum earth
and rum flows
for the gods of marronage.

is the centre —
where old stories gather flesh
and come alive as we blow
on their bones.

is the centre —
the black hole that pulls
us in and through
to new horizons,
blue with promise.

Here is the centre.
Here is the centre.
Here is the centre.

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Make a change by Maryam T, Year 7 LGGS

I look around me in the park
Where me and my friends played in the dark
Many trees have now disappeared
And the healthy grass now in tears.

Forests are where animals can breed
Trees are all gone because of greed,
Shame on you look what you’ve done
No homes for those who are not far from gone.

There is nothing left for MY future
You’ve had YOURS
Now what about mine?
A problem rising, many say it’s fine
No one realises that this is a crime.

Nothing is left but the starving monkeys
The drowning polar bears
The subtle waves are now a wreck
Adorned with many bits and bobs
That kill the animals one by one.
What will we do when there are no greets
From every animal that we wish to see
When it’s gone its gone, no turning back
Don’t be sad when nothing’s left
Make an action do the best
So, what will YOU do to beat the rest?

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Into the future by Kate S, Year 7 LGGS

The year is 2098,

And up in a skyscraper,

Above a world of climate hate,

Lived a young girl,

She lived in her own mind,

Thinking about the history of mankind,

One day she found a book,

She opened it up and had a look.

The pages were filled with creatures of all kind,

Candyfloss coloured birds,

A ginormous cat with orange and black stripes,

A white teddy bear glowing in the night

A slivering worm wrapped around a log,

A big hairy human swinging from tree to tree.

A massive bathtub covering the globe,

Miles and miles of giant broccoli,

Sandpits big enough for a generation of children,

The girl looked out her window,

And for miles all she could see,

Were grey towers,

Under grey skies,

On top of grey ground,

Grey, Grey, Grey.

What had happened,

The young girl thought,

To the planet of adventures,

Waiting to be explored?

Where did they go?

Why had they gone?

She was upset,

Because mankind is a curious type,

How she would have loved,

To see them with her own eyes,

How she would have loved,

 To have gone and explored,

A world we take for granted, live on every day,

How can we change this?

So, the future isn’t so grey?

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The Carpenter’s Bench by Wendy Haslam

Among wood shavings and dust
he stands at his bench.
That solid, sturdy bench.
Through the window, light
picks out the weathered surface
it’s history held in deep cuts,
stains of bleeding oil cans and
drips of red undercoat.

With eyes unseeing, he stares
out onto his tiny, tidy patch of green.
Seeing a moment before the bench
before the shed
before this house, this town,
before this wife,
before five children.
Before his mind split open.
Before, when he could speak,
when he could smile.

One moment: when
like all the men
boots thick with mud
a rifle in one hand,
his brother beside him
about to leave the trench.
one moment as the barrage lessened
– short seconds between explosions.
One moment when
he still had a brother.

The scene plays again and again until
a sound unlike war, calls him back.
Wearily he looks around,
runs a hand over the bench-
its solidity, its reality-
before he sees the child,
touches the half finished toy
and begins for a moment
to forget.

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Tipping Point by Wendy Haslam

Tipping Point Passed

Mind Tom, just stay on the path
watch out for holes now, don’t fall.
It’s dangerous out in the wind,
that’s why they’ve built that great wall.

This mute landscape once rang with gulls,
burrows jumped with long–eared beasts,
these cliffs, bereft of nests, run down
to where the sea otter no longer feeds.

Hold my hand tightly just here
we’d better not stay out too long.
Tell me what you learnt today,
sing me your flying song.

The skies once were full of albatross,
They flew the oceans of this world right round
with their wings like huge feathered sails
but in the fishing nets they’ve all drowned.

Are you growling like a polar bear?
Oh you drew a bear today?
Tell me what your teacher said.
Be careful, the edge is falling away.

Under solid ice, the great white bears,
space-walked through crystal seas.
They needed the cold to catch their prey,
so starved when the temperature rose.

I think I can see rain clouds again.
Yes, even though it’s very warm.
Don’t worry we won’t drown in a flood
like so many in that last storm.

It was the trees that made it all as one,
they stitched the land to the sky;
so many greens, full of song each spring;
the reds roared as the year went by.

Did you do the jumping in school,
puddles, leaves and mud today?
It’s wonderful how teacher does that,
we used to use real leaves for play.

Let’s take off our oxygen suits,
go on inside to cool down.
Granddad has all done remembering
when the world had more colours than brown.

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A kind of peace by Elizabeth Gibson

It is having book, food and nature, climbing up
the old quarry to sit among the carved-out blocks
on the hill with my picnic of budget quiche
and dry homemade lemon cake,
and it is nights at the street food market
in the carpark, refusing to go indoors in favour
of huddling by the firepit, getting to my feet
from time to time to trip the floodlight
so I can keep reading,
and it is standing by the wooden platform
jutting into the marina, twilight, geese honking,
smoke curling from canal boats, tearing into
a salty tomato focaccia, by the water, thinking,
this will be a Night, one that studs
my memories like a pearl.
It is curling in my pyjamas in the corner
of the falling-apart sofa, covered in blankets,
the garden tropical with birds, the cat writhing
on the floor as Mam waves her colourful mice,
and the tree is heavy with foiled chocolates
the reindeer brought in the night,
like he has for all my life or maybe before,
if my parents gave themselves chocolate,
it is that life went on before me,
and will – I pray – go on after.
The world will flicker out, I know that.
But not yet. Give us a bit longer
to all be together

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A Progress Through the Mountains, 2015 by David Canning

The signs are clear, a glacier was there once:
the ‘U’-shaped valley cut with cirques,
erratics perched like petrified birds,
flat river plains, tell-tale lakes edged by moraine,
and the scarring of the rocks where the ice dragged away.

You will ascend higher still to gain a better view,
unsure if you have crossed from Italy into France;
up there even borders of nations liquify and confuse
in a heat that clings, leaches at the will,
and your shadows will billow like smoke in the scrub,
while all around the rocks and cliffs will gleam,
alabaster and marble basilicas of sun-whitened stone.

Soon you will reach the apex of a ridge,
its peaks broken and jagged like a dead giant’s teeth,
there descend to a pool of shade and welcome its cold,
where a thin rope bars your path, guards a jewel,
pale and a mere few metres in size, cordoned
from the hands of worshipful pilgrims,
shimmering and cool like a vein of white jasper,
is the very last of the ice, the Mer-de-Glace.

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ENCASED IN THIS SPACE by Mojisola Bakare

Warm nights
Gloomy nights
Light rain
Acid rain
Silver skies
Stormy skies
Sunny summers
Long summers
Dark winter nights
Snowy winter nights
We do not complain
We do not wince
Through it all.
We do not smile
We do not wonder or know
If better days would come.
Though our hearts are hopeful
Our faith is firm.
We know what to do
We know what would take us there.

If we save the animals, if we save the space
If we save the water, if we save the light
If we close the gaps between walls built
Close them with love from gladdened souls
If we hold loose sand in one palm just a moment longer
So it only feels the heat of the Earth’s warmth all around
It won’t fight, it won’t bite – it may be what will make it right

Then we may go to sleep knowing a brighter sun awaits
When all would, undisturbed, awake.