1000 Climate Hopes
Hugh McMillan

Hugh McMillan

Ghost Boats

“A squatting child full of sadness releases a boat as fragile as a May butterfly.” 
(Rimbaud: ‘Drunken Boat’)


The Splendid Poison Frog,
Spix’s Macaw,
the Bramble Cay Melomy,
the Moorean Tree Snail,
the Poo Uli , the Baiji,
the Akepa, the Rusty Grebe,
all have drifted into history,
and 16,000 species
are queuing in the mist
to join them.

The morning of the world
has sailed,
the afternoon and evening too.
Night brings sombre
reckonings with the
slap and pulse
of sluggish waters.
The poisoners
are our only saviours:
the last irony.

I think of the care
we have,
and the callousness.
How the next to go
extinct must be the
killers, the money
twisters, the dictators.
Then maybe the two
sides of our nature
can reconcile,
and we can tend
as we have done
at times, 
for ourselves, our own,
our surroundings.
It is a long line of hope
spun in lengthening shadow
against burning clouds.
As the last boat

Hugh Macmillan
Hugh McMillan

Hugh McMillan is a poet and writer with eleven collections of poetry and many awards. He has appeared on radio and at Literary Festivals, most recently in performances at the Stanza International Festival, Wigtown International Book Festivals in Scotland, and the Edmonton Poetry Festival in Canada.