If you go down to the waves today
For peace and quiet, a mindful
Meditative moment,
You’re sure of a big surprise
Because the Anthropocene’s in town.
“Roll up! Roll up!”
Get your synthetic ice-creams
From the diesel-belching vans
Lined up on the harsh concrete –
The heat island effect is strong here –
Dodge the darkly speckled
Dirty-looking juvenile gulls
Bin-dipping in the junk food
Effluence around the benches and steps –
The tin cans and plastic bottles
The takeaway cartons and cups
The cigarette butts and wet wipes –
And feel ashamed.
If you go down to the waves today
You’d better go alone
Because the things you want to say – shout – scream
Are better off unvoiced –
So maybe it’s safer to stay at home.