In the industrial hinterland, stacks belch blue flares, stinking clouds mushroom from smoking fires and orange aureoles radiate and redden the sky of our environmental Armageddon. Will chimneys and factories ever disappear? Will Nature fill the voids of mining year on year? Will a time come when a different kind of steam evaporates across the […]


The beaches were awash and reeling with sunburnt flesh, already peeling, and tempers flared up in the sun at polite requests to please move on, oblivious to the growing shadow of the Covid reaper. Do they not know the way to measure social distance? After several months of abstinence, entitlement had taken the place of […]


van Gogh wrote: ‘The conscience is a man’s compass.’ Our compass broke, we have no common sense or sentience, and Earth is barely turning – into a bad joke. We harvest palm oil and rainforests choke, oceans on this so-called blue planet are drowning in a mass of plastic, and fur-coated men grin as polar […]

Annus Horribilis

We’re only halfway through this year of crises that has stolen so many memories, sprayed terror like graffiti in our cities, and ravaged lives like blossom from spring trees. We cling to a glass cliff as our world falls apart, stunned by the contempt of presidential farts, the hatred and violence that’s breaking our hearts. […]

Heavy Suitcase

They took away my suitcase. There wasn’t much in it: a book to read, clean underwear, a nice dress for visiting hours (no one ever comes) and church on Sundays, moisturising cream for my hands and face. I didn’t think I’d be here long. Now I need to fill it with the weight of nightmare […]

Nature Haiku to Ease the Pain

errant porpoises trapped inside the harbour wall the sun’s a beachball call of the harbour nets strung between the boatsheds sparkling with sea salt avalanche of fish tumbling down the harbour wall no more plastic bags Kim M. Russell, 17th April 2020 My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo Day 17 Play it […]

Lockdown with Cat

I am the cat who walks by herself, proudly practising social distancing from others. I purr at the spring sun stroking my fur, while my human peers from a prison of windowpanes, longing for a friendly hug, a shared coffee and conversation. In the meantime, we’ve had to ration cat food until the next delivery. […]