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THU 04 NOV 21:14 - Direct from COP26 moon inspired poetry from eco-activist Ella Young


This Scorpio New Moon edition of MOON LIT comes to you from the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. I am here having installed my sculpture BURNT WOOD in the Green Zone of the conference concourse and, over the last few days, have had the great privilege of engaging with conference delegates and the general public about all matters climate crisis.

Should we be optimistic about the outcomes of COP26? Well, optimism in current global circumstances might be aligned with Fundamentalist Positivity (something which these columns have occasionally been accused of radicalising) and somewhat misplaced. The inextricably linked interests of vulnerable people and planet are not as visibly or audibly represented here as those of the 'gracious' multinationals and corporations that are sponsoring the event.

These champions of commerce have already expressed their collective disquiet about the logistical organisation of the conference in the British press, a negativity at odds with my own experience of the event administrators, who I have found efficient, supportive and good humoured despite the pressure under which they are operating.

Leaving aside the ideology questioning whether these huge corporations should have a direct say in how COP26 is run, their patronising criticism stems, unsurprisingly, from an atypical vision of 'patronage' - less about unequivocal support and more regularly about getting value for their money. It's another key signature of these pinnacle, profit motivated times. Less about what a corporation can do for those that, through their consumer activity, have bestowed power and influence; and more about the financial gains to be derived from any 'deal' they strike.

It is irrefutable that things are changing and changing fast. The longer we spend fighting amongst ourselves about ideology, territory and resources or the science, the closer and faster we will travel towards climate catastrophe. Competition as a force for change is akin to petrol on the climate crisis flames in this regard The following quote comes from the UN's World Social Report 2020 "Inequality in a Rapidly Changing World."

The World Social Report 2020 documents deep divides within and across countries despite an era of extraordinary economic growth and widespread improvements in living standards. The report also underscores how gender, along with ethnicity, race, place of residence and socioeconomic status, continue to shape the chances people have in life.

It sends a clear message: the future course of these complex challenges is not irreversible. Technological change, migration, urbanization and even the climate crisis can be harnessed for a more equitable and sustainable world, or they can be left to further divide us. Governments are key players in creating more equitable societies, protecting the most vulnerable from the negative effects of these trends and ensuring that their benefits as well as adaption costs are broadly and equitably shared. International cooperation is more important than ever.

Will Government's have the courage to grasp the COP26 nettle and act despite the discomfort? Does meaningful action have to be on an internationally collective level or will brave unilateral decisions by nation states be necessary to start the ball rolling towards a truly global understanding?

Activist Greta Thunberg believes the latter. "Hope is all around us. Because all it would really take is one – one world leader or one high-income nation or one major TV station or leading newspaper who decides to be honest, to truly treat the climate crisis as the crisis that it is. One leader who counts all the numbers – and then takes brave action to reduce emissions at the pace and scale the science demands. Then everything could be set in motion towards action, hope, purpose and meaning."

So let's remain optimistic, however foolhardy it may seem. Let's keep doing the maths ourselves and quantify the billions of borrowing/expenditure currently being prioritised to drive the divisive machinations of war and armament over the harmonised pursuit of global peace and sustainability. A friend recently offered me some helpful numeric comparisons that rescued the widely cited, abstract millions from incomprehensible quantities into more digestible, contextualised figures with which to understand financial global governance. Comparing quids to seconds, I was told 1 million seconds = just under 12 days .... and, more fantastically, 1 billion seconds = 31 years! In short, spending a quid a second, 24/7, it would take 31 years to rack up a billion of debt (1,000 million). That's maths folks! We have become inured to the waterfall of faceless accounting statistics in the name of 'progress' but it is high time we became more question how the money is generated, where it goes and for what purpose, in pursuit of honest transparency, accountability and equity. Should 'supportive' sponsoring corporations be encouraged to gerrymander their income and expenditure to minimise profit and therefore their taxable income? They would argue they are merely operating successfully within the existing legal framework. In the UK that framework allows those same corporations to employ their workforce on a minimum wage while paying their executives tens of thousands for an equivalent working week. By necessity, those on low incomes are then supported by tax payers to feed their families through income support, in effect subsidising the payroll of the non taxpaying corporations...mentioning no names - Amazon, Tesco, CocaCola, BP and the rest. And that's before we take issue with their eco-credentials and substantial, unchallenged contribution to global carbon emissions and plastic pollution. Greta continues, "The climate and ecological emergency is, of course, only a symptom of a much larger sustainability crisis. A social crisis. A crisis of inequality that dates back to colonialism and beyond. A crisis based on the idea that some people are worth more than others and, therefore have the right to exploit and steal other people’s land and resources. It’s all interconnected. It’s a sustainability crisis that everyone would benefit from tackling." We need to hold our leaders to account. We need them to actually lead, to take practical action rather than providing a continuous flow of empty rhetoric, knowing that failure to act and legislate threatens the wider web of Earth's biodiversity and with it, human existence. But we shouldn't lose hope implores Thunberg "Things may look very dark and hopeless, and given the torrent of reports and escalating incidents, the feeling of despair is more than understandable. But we need to remind ourselves that we can still turn this around. It’s entirely possible if we are prepared to change." Let's do what we can under this Scorpio New Moon to raise our own awareness about the issues surrounding the climate crisis and our personal contributions to it. However, global corporations will continue to create more problems than they solve if they are not held to account by an appropriate legal framework that fosters responsibility for their actions. The current one is not fit for purpose. We must lobby our leaders to bravely challenge the systems that have enabled this ongoing disaster, to mobilise a consensus of change from which we, the planet and all future generations may benefit.



Poet and ecological activist Ella Young lives and works in Devon. Born in North London in 1942 she is now a cycling grandmother who loves being in nature, singing and dancing. She has written throughout her life, a champion of Love in all its forms as she continues to lyrically process the emotions and experiences of a life well lived. Her written work presents as an enchanting, love laced range of melodic ballads that sing their joy, fury, sadness, loss and harmonizing influence to any receptive reader. She offers us three poems, the first a new work "Full Moon" exclusively written for this edition of MOON LIT. It depicts a night scene in Nepal, where she once lived, observing local devotees using the light of full moon to guide their time honoured passage through the rugged landscape to an annual festival and their return at dawn. A moonlit moment in time before LED light technology, revisited and lovingly rendered for our delight. The second and third poems, To The Moon and Change have been taken from her 2020 publication The Yew Tree and Other Poems.

FULL MOON In far off lands they walk barefoot over mountain passes along terraced fields a string of silhouettes outlined on the paddy pathways by the full moon. From far and wide they walk with their children to this festival every year and home again through receding layers of mist as dawn is breaking. TO THE MOON (written in 1963) Fair moon, my silent goddess of the sky, Dost thou watch the satellites sail by? More beautiful than any man-made moon, Alas, thy solitude will finish soon. No more romantic wilt thou seem to me When man's foul footsteps have polluted thee, Earth's politics will strife and hatred bring, Thy craters will with rockets roaring ring. I love thy mystery and silence well, Fair creature of the heaven. But who can tell How near the time when crazy man will fly And walk upon my goddess of the sky? CHANGE

Joy to sorrow Clouds to rain Buds to flowers, Never the same. Full to new moon

Youth to age Drought to flood And calm to rage.

There’s a time to be born and a time to die A time to laugh and a time to cry.

Cliffs to sand And hills to plain Aeons pass, Mountains again. Stars in the heavens Change each hour. Petals fall From every flower.

There’s a time to be born and a time to die A time to laugh and a time to cry.

Autumn to winter Families spread An empty nest Lovers are dead. Round each cycle We must trust - Leaves to soil And bodies to dust.

There’s a time to be born and a time to die A time to laugh and a time to cry.



Welcome once again through the perennially open doors of our very own art gallery MOON LIT DISPLAY. Exhibiting drawings, paintings, prints and sculpture with a lunar bent, visual artists share their most recent creative output alongside our literary guests, ensuring our exhibits complement the contemporary, enquiring nature of the prose and poetry.

Under this Scorpio New Moon, I am delighted to showcase the work of acclaimed artist Selena Mowat. Born in Inverness, Scotland, she is now based between homes in Germany and Ireland. Her current work jostles between representation and abstraction, experiments with the limitless possibilities of painting while playfully exploring both its language and physical substance. She actively blurs the boundaries between reality, memory and the imagination into a tactile, paint traversed universe of her own.

A special mention to the first painting of great beauty on display here: Wandering Minds as it finds perfect complement alongside Ella Young's Full Moon. I love a harmonious cross discipline pairing, me.

You can see more of Selena's work on her website


Oil on wood

120 x 93 cm


Oil on wood

71 x 61 cm


Oil on canvas

200 x 150 cm


Just so you know, MOON LIT seeks to present literature and artwork that celebrates and reveres, marvels, champions and cherishes, whilst never shirking the necessary excavation of life's rich shadows in search of the priceless shining diamonds within. Each edition is a poetic invitation to contemplate our reading of, and reaction to, circumstance, that we may more consciously direct our thoughts, words and actions toward positive benefit for All.

Throughout 2021 MOON LIT will offer a monthly meditative pause under the poetic guidance of our distinguished literary guests. It is hoped readers will find time in hectic schedules to unhurriedly savour their literary craft; to read and reread these new perspectives on the miraculous, beguiling life experience to which we all belong.

MOON LIT publishes at new moon alongside its full moon sister publication MOONING MONTHLY that offers loosely astrological lunar forecasts for the coming month. (Mooning Monthly 120 'ON THE UP' still available here) Subscribe for free HERE at your leisure to ensure both emails hit your inbox when it matters.

And of course, do please share MOON LIT with friends and family of similar lunar sensitivities, in the hope that this illuminating endeavour brightens our currently challenging, darkened times with the light of beauty and Love.

With love 'til next time




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