No Feather Bed

by B. Jordan, UK

Angel of the North you stand awake.

Iconic guardian, I have travelled the breadth of England to look up to you, reaching your steel wings above Gateshead’s mines and factories.

Forged from metals,

            gouged from Earth,

                        heated, melted, formed.                                                       

Cooled in Siberian winds where ice melts. You look down, balanced, static, still, on endless A1 traffic moving freely, frantic with Western addiction to endless destructive growth.

We know ancient eastern tales of your kind. An angel foretelling a birth, a proclamation ‘Peace on Earth’, a warning given in Joseph’s dream-

danger,

            murder,

                        flee,

                                    protect.

Your stand is silent like the cross. Your beam, rooted in solid ground, steel girdered, nailed in place, open winged a wide embrace. Symbol of suffering strength you crown a tended hill.

You lift my eyes to skies where seagulls fly, swinging on air currents, glorying in life’s immensity, taking me beyond the place where sea and city meet, to ancient, folded hills and Hadrian’s barricades, from fishing waters borderless to oil rich beds of shale. I sense them skimming high, knowing nothing, loving life in each glorious rich moment,

            wild,

                         pure.

                                    Free

Their cries from on high echo the wind in your outstretched wings.

Here no feather pillow allowed,

            no peace in complicity,

                        no rest in complacency.

No relief for climate grief.

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