earth shadow, Poem, Poetry

Gillian Byrom-Smith

Present Time

A story, a nightmare,
a tale; make believe.
Cities tumble and fall,
fire consumes forests,
water drowns fields;
rot sets in.

Old worlds topple,
brittle reeds break.

Not a drop to drink,
not a crumb to eat;
no longer stories from
far off places,
faces on t.v. screens.

Old worlds topple,
brittle reeds break.

It’s happening here,
it’s happening now.
It’s the time we’ve waited for,
it’s the time we’ve feared.

Old worlds topple,
brittle reeds break.

Our hands have moulded
and made,
created and cast.
Our hands have destroyed
and devastated,
crushed and cracked.

Old worlds topple,
brittle reeds break.

Birdsong bursts,
stars shine bright,
water runs clear;
silence reigns,
the meek rule.

No bullets,
no guns,
no enemies to kill;
just the Earth fighting back.

Gillian spent many years working in bookshops, before becoming a published poet and performer. She has had her words used as song lyrics by rock bands, classical musicians and was commissioned to write a libretto as part of the Benjamin Britten Centenary celebrations. Her work has been performed at festivals and concerts throughout Britain and most lately in Albania, Turkey and New Zealand. She was invited to write and perform a poem for the 21st Anniversary of the Bridgewater Hall and contributed her work to Hull City of Culture. Her poems have appeared in several publications and she is preparing a second volume of her poetry for publication.

Website –
Twitter – @gillbyromsmith
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