Hoar Frost: Winter in the Era of Climate Change

by Leona Graham-Elen

Cambridgeshire, England. December 20, 2006
In honour of my conservationist colleagues

Summer was worryingly long, Autumn too, Winter finally
Came down with fog and hoar frost, coating spider webs
Trees bushes flowers houses rocks everything indiscriminately
Even the screaming cat next door finds a way to stay in
Lest she be immortalized into further furry bitterness

Pale peachy skies follow from faint blue foggy vistas
Across the sleeping fens. Walkers lead by nervy dogs
Dot the horizon and black birds continue to have their say
Whilst one robin, maybe mistakenly voting against Malta,
Pokes about the crusty earth and wonders at my procrastination

We the people are glad to see Winter fall upon us
For fear of worse things to come. An assurance of sorts
We hope we have time enough to turn a ghastly tide
We scramble in each of our lives to rationalize
What we use, how and for how long we can get away with it

This Season of Dark turning to Light is different
More than changing to eco light bulbs
Or naked gifts to those you love to save the trees
Our New Year’s resolutions need global dimensions
We face the sins of our forefathers, our grandmothers’ mistakes

Our mothers’ greed and our fathers’ fears
Our own helplessness, a terrible legacy to our children
The robin waits for me along with the wee wren
The polar bear hides in the far north, soon to disappear
With the ice, the Queen of Dolphins died yesterday

All around us they scream for help as one by one
A species shuts its last eyes for the last time
We huddle in the muddle we have made
This is the greatest football game there has ever been
And the ball is in our court.

©Leona Graham-Elen


Leona Graham-Elen

Beginning with a teaching career in Canadian academia, Leona branched out to embrace a wider world. After her global travels she settled down for several years in the Findhorn Foundation Community in NE Scotland, where she worked closely with the Founders. After further stints in the Canadian university system, Leona settled down with her second husband Richard Elen in the Glastonbury Community, working closely with Kathy Jones and others to found and develop various Avalonian institutions, including the Library of Avalon, the University of Avalon (now the Isle of Avalon Trust), Ariadne Productions, the burgeoning Goddess Movement and with Margaret Kimber and friends, The Wise Crone Café and The Sustainable Living Company. Moving to the USA, she and her husband ran a communications consultancy near Nashville, Tennessee, and the Los Angeles area, later returning to the UK in the Cambridgeshire area. For many years she has been working in the field of conservation with The WILD Foundation and the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Leona’s website is www.thegreatreturning.org, and she also has a joint website with Richard at http://www.brideswell.com.
Leona Graham-Elen

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