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The Shock Of The New

An exploded moment of the consternation and confusion
turning into recognition and excitement that I experienced on
seeing my first solar farm.

We turn a corner. Whoa. Slow down. Stop. Jaws drop.
What is this crop?
In ranks across a five acre field –
an immaculately tidy, strangely symmetrical yield

the 1st half-second:
the nimby in me stirs, the nimby brain whirrs
it says: Dark wafers! On guard!
it sees: Darth Vader’s business card
the unprepared brain, no clues or hints,
sees an angle-poise posse of glossy super-intelligent plank life
sees alien invasion, the first wave of frighteningly
disciplined after dinner mints

the 2nd half-second:
the nimby brain begins to calm
sees they come in peace & mean no harm
instead sees a huge page of redacted sudoku
sees supplicant place mats, members of the most worshipful
order of coasters
an open air warehouse of flat pack goth garden furniture

the 1st half of the 2nd second:
a light begins to dawn
my skin begins to tingle
as I apprehend their angle
is the optimum to catch the sun
and then I see:
synchronised sunbathers
expectant rectangles
oblongs of elegance
in their very element
siphoning off the sunshine
creaming off the crop of sunbeams

the 2nd half of the 2 second:
I say Hurray for the array
who with silent simplicity
turn light to electricity
dismay into delight

they’re kin to my panels, my own PV
that charge my smartphone, boil my cups of tea

and then I reach epiphany and see:
a choir of angles in a cathedral of stained dark windows,
deep as ink
sacred insatiables whose job it is to drink in radiance

windows to a future not only doable
but so much more renewable
than the namby pamby Nimby in me – or anyone –
cares to think

About The Project

The Element in the Room is a book of poems inspired by renewable energy in particular – and a book of pictures inspired by
poems about renewable energy.

Some poems were prompted by reflections on the elements,
some from talking with people working in the field, others from
renewable technologies themselves – the look of them, their
potential, people’s responses to them. Some are playful, cheeky,
pithy, others more lyrical and solemn, some are just plain daft.

Among them there’s a sonnet, a country and western song and a
prose poem called The Not-for-Prophit. You get the picture. None
is intended as a ‘last word’, they are offered for your pleasure and
interest and to provoke discussion.

The illustrations are by a range of talented artists, to be specific:
Heidi Ball, Laura Cochón, Tori Dee, Chloë Uden, Josie Ashe, Naomi Ziewe Palmer and More than Minutes.

‘The Element in the Room’ is a collaboration with Regen South West.

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