Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

Mercury Rising - Poem by Tony Jolley

Mercury rising to three-figure Farenheit.
Fridges working an overtime freezing frenzy.
Tarmac turning back to its gloopy, embryonic glory.
Scorching sands searing young and old soles.
Lobsters on loungers thermidoring themselves
Slowly but surely
In a haze of factor eight bronzing ‘baste’.

Kids crying with sunburnt shoulders,
Suffering the inevitable shivver-shake, after-sun shock.
Calamine, caladryl and sundry creams and concoctions
Selling like ironic ‘hot cakes’.
TV weathermen’s warnings gone unheard or unheeded.
Hospital burns units overwhelmed
With the all-too-casual, self-inflicted casualties.

Melanoma, for so long biding its invisible time
Under cover of cloud,
Now making its mournfully malignant move
In some baleful, doleful holiday ‘lottery’:

“This time it could be you.”

I pray God it’s not.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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