Pandora’s box by Fiona Martin

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

The end of the world

Will not be swift

No explosions

No kind, quick finish.

Biblical or spectacular.


Look out the window

Of your climate-controlled


And witness it now

As the birds sing

The sun shines

And pop music plays on the radio


The apocalypse is happening


With every straw found

In the gullet of an aquatic bird,

With every metre of bleached coral

With every striking off the list of

Another extinct species.


A rheumy bloom is spilling

Edging forward and encroaching


The planet looks sick


A vulnerable

Preciousness, pleading


And we pull down the shutters

Don the Aviators

Put our hands over our ears and sing

La la la la la

And enjoy the mild weather.


It’s easy to ignore.


Listen little human

Who has inherited the world,

You are entitled to nothing

This gift of our evolution

Has rendered us









When we have come to our senses


Too late,


And the leavings of the party

are strewn

We maniacs will expect the Earth to

Open her arms to the prodigal child

Allow us to prostrate ourselves

Demand forgiveness

Bandage gashes

Sing a lullaby.


Too late.


Will we merely be

orbiting flotsam

Universal waste

Washed up,


What will they think of us

In our parallel universe

Where better choices were made?

I pray there is time.

But I’m frightened

That there isn’t.

With the sun on his head

With a soft breeze tickling his curls,

I look down

At my perfect five-year-old

And search for the answer.


And know there is








At the bottom of


Pandora’s Box.