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The internal and external environment by Natalie Robinson

Perched on your suite knees turned towards you; I wait.
In your external environment,
My eyes drift to the mantelpiece,
A clock set in glass ticks,
Gloved, masked and aproned,
You glance at me,
Then you begin to speak,
Sharing your narrative,
The environment within,
Books tumble from your library,
Russian dolls of self,
Unpacking and restacking in my presence,
I imagine us, you and I, somewhere different,
The environment is changing,
You present with the occupations you love,
Belonging felt within the community again,
Spinning new wool of life from the spindle wheel,
A lump hit the back of my throat,
My environment,
The dam has been breached,
I feel a flood and the need to hold space,
The professional boundary,
Invisible, unseen yet honoured,
I vacate your home,
Dismissed from your reality to mine,
To sit inside my Micra,
With the books from your library in my head and heart,
I unwrap the chocolate and place it on my tongue, waiting for it to melt.
Seat belt on and a key turned; the road whispers “home”.

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Environment Poem by Emily Y, Year 8 LGGS

The world of work
Let me do my work from day to day
In the field or forest, at the desk or loom
In a roaring marketplace, or a tranquil room
Kids outside, screaming, laughing
They have the easiest way of living
Driving to work early in the morning
Coffee the only thing that doesn’t get boring
Then stuck in traffic till evening
Exhausted from the beginning
Cooking food for the children
Trying not to fall asleep in the saucepan
Drag myself into bed
The same procedure starts again.

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Environmental Health Officer by Rae Davey

for RM

She is always humming the same four notes
this solid woman with the tired eyes:
hm hmm hm hmmm.

In the houses of the unclaimed dead
she works alone, methodically searching
mildewed papers for the name of someone

who might care. The neatly tied bags of shit
she regards with wry compassion,
humming against the stench: hm hmm hm hmmm.

Usually, she says, no one comes.
She pieces together derelict lives,
crafts eulogies from clues she’s found:

a CD in a broken machine, a plane ticket
from 1983, the clumped remains
of rotted paperbacks.

He listened to Holst and collected books
she says to the empty crematorium
he’d been all the way to Australia.

She doesn’t say he lay in his room until
the rats grew fat. She doesn’t say
he kept his piss in plastic bottles.

She brings dahlia and cosmos
from her own abundant garden,
lays them on the plywood box.

Only when the coffin
slips behind the curtain
does it start again: hm hmm hm hmmm.