They say that we worshipped the sun once –

bared our skin and lay for hours, motionless

except to turn and baste, baste, baste

like hog-roasts rotating on spits,

English rose complexions transformed to copper.


They say that we feared the winter then –

covered our bodies in chemically engineered layers,

refusing to let the crisp air penetrate,

wishing the dark days away,

as if time was ours to discard

with no consequences.


They say all this.

The world must have been different then.



‘Snow can lift my heart in a way that sunshine never could.

I have waited, and you have come
Martine McDonagh


This week, on dVerse Poetics, Mary asks us to write poetry inspired by quotations – or by a photo, or by a headline in a newspaper, or, or, or… let’s get inspired!

I have used a quotation from one of my favourite dystopian novels, ‘I have waited, and you have come’ by Martine McDonagh. I highly recommend it! My poem is set in a future where the sun is to be feared, not welcomed…

Please pop over to dVerse to see how others have risen to the challenge!



42 thoughts on “Mercury

  1. oh heck.. i could never lay for hours to roast in the sun and i envy the scandinavians a bit when they make sauna and then roll around in the snow – if they really do – that’s what i heard at least and it sounds like great fun…smiles… it would be sad when the different seasons one day disappeared because of global warming… i don’t even wanna think about it…ugh

  2. I hope we never get to see the world you describe. Your line about ‘English rose complexions’ made me smile. We in northern Europe have a tendency to turn to lobster whenever we stay too long in the sun.

    1. I’m lucky – I have enough mysterious-to-me darker DNA connections that I don’t burn that easily. Yes, I hope too that my future projections are strictly fantasy.

  3. Ha, I used to enjoy spending time sun-tanning. Now I enjoy the sun, but only when I have a particular activity to do in the sun…not just to LIE in it and tan! People have a much different mentality about the sun today than they did when I was younger indeed.

  4. Oh, I must be from back then. Indeed we California kids roasted ourselves “back then” and pay the consequences today. As for cold. I’m always freezing except when it hits about 90 degrees F.

    1. It’s all about what we’re used to, I guess! I love the climate in San Francisco, but other parts of California, I expect would be way too hot. I love the cold, as long as I have the right clothes…

  5. i will take autumn any day personally…smiles…ha…life was different…perhaps it was…perhaps it will be the long winter…or the endless summer that gets us finally…i guess i like each season for its own reason…..i dont know that i would want to do without any ot them….

  6. When I was young I used to lay in the sun. But what I was really doing was waiting for cute boys to come around. Now I know better and am too old to baste in the sun and I hate to shiver in the cold. Nice writing. Really enjoyed.

  7. We are told, as I was by my dermatologist, that the sun has never been our friend. My tans of the 60’s became a cancerous mole in my 60’s; caught in time, but wised up beyond doubt; enjoy the warmth, avoid the radiation.

    1. Oh yes, I agree. An old work colleague of mine lost his wife to skin cancer when they were in their early 30s – horrific. I’m glad yours was caught in time.

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