Trial and Punishment

I wrote this epic poem during the second lock-down. Beset by concerns for my children and grandchildren in an unravelling climate emergency, I dropped into a purple vein and finished the poem in six weeks, a 22 line stanza a day marathon. Written like a science fiction novella, it sets out the terrible fate that might await humanity. Two individuals, a modern day Adam and Eve are chosen by alien arbiters to decide the planet’s fate. You can download it from this site.

Here’s a quote from the Second Canto:

Canto Two

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones.’

-William Shakespeare

The Species


Humanity’s self-styled ‘third’ millennium

Had not regained the equilibrium

It once had before the rise of norms

Of ownership, coinage and cuneiform

It had endured a moral regression

In contrast to its scientific progression

Making knives to bombs-atomic

Dividing and conquering, in chronic

Tension between good and evil

Disintegrating through the visceral

Urges of the species, the Us and Them

The blood of battle was never stemmed

Whether on streets or in imperialist mayhem

And often in defence of some religion

Fervent faiths that burgeoned

On mystery and legend

Furthered through conduits of lie and fraud

Intent on spreading the word abroad

‘Sacred’ books followed to the letter

And rituals convincing them they were better 

Than others who took oaths to different tracts

Based on equally mythic facts

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