The Levels are Changing

I recently worked with artist Raphael Daden to incorporate one of my poems into his sculpture ‘The Levels’, addressing sea level rise (Winter 2021). The sculpture is located on Weymouth seafront as part of a new sculpture trail, themed around the town’s relationship with the sea.

Sea levels are rising and will continue to rise for centuries to come, threatening communities and habitats. Areas such as the Jurassic coast, where sea level rise and increased storminess due to global warming exacerbates the natural process of coastal erosion, must consider a wide range of adaptation strategies, both now and in the future. See artist’s website

THE LEVELS

Start at sea level –

reckon the tide’s surge
metre by metre
over Domesday fields

blue outflanking you
year on year
to the threshold of your house,

your tongue slipping
on place names sunk
in sediment and brackish water.

Your home means little to a future

of eroded cliffs, toppled
tree stumps at low tide;
roads leading nowhere.

The sea sends
harbinger gulls
inland.

We must navigate
our changing world.

Aly Stoneman (2021)

Image: Raphael Daden, 2021

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