IGP Stories

Who needs Prometheus? A poem by Cameron Holleran

Climate Emergency

Cameron Holleran

2 November 2021

IGP's Poet-in-Residence Cameron Holleran reflects on the roles of researchers as they interact with communities and the importance of community led knowledge in climate adaptation strategies

Are we awaiting revelation
transcribed by a single,
special, source in secret tongues?
Do we beg before a throne of want
for life and light?
Do we hold the myth of genius too tight?

Our first fire starter watched experiments in friction,
observed an accidental strike,
chanced upon a fateful dancing spark and wondered
what might happen to the dry grass. Did those solitary sparks,
responsible for blazing infernos, spring from just one person’s mind?

Tired eyes, made weary by gathering the fuel,
clearing the ground, laying the tinder,
guarding and nursing the flame,
will watch as tongues of fire lick longer than they’d like.

Tired eyes, burned
but dreaming
of glory surely owed
because they brought the secret of the spark
to corners,
assumed dark and dead and cold.

Even from those ashes, a bud may break
out from soil
that supported it, nourished it, kept it safe,
till it felt, it its roots,
that its time had come to bloom.

Quickly stir and rouse from out these visions,
don’t succumb to dreams and teach others how to tame the flame,
keep each other
warm and safe and visible and fed.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

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