Poetry Politics

POETRY: The Church of Thunberg

Archivists at the University of Washington have unearthed a 120-year-old photo of a girl who looks uncannily like Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist.

The photo has inspired conspiracy theorists who claim the 1898 photo – taken in a Canadian gold-mine – shows that Greta Thunberg is a timetraveller, sent to deliver us an important message.

This is how religions start… Fast forward a century or so, and welcome to the Church of Thunberg…

The Church of Thunberg

In the Church of our maker, in the year of our world,
With worshipful carbon-neutral parables told,
Congregations perch light on recyclable pews
As the vicar, from her altar, delivers the news.
“We are here for the grace of the daughter of Gaia,
Our Greta. Our great, green and global Messiah
Who sailed from old codes of tooth for a tooth, or
The associated capitalist gains made by Luther.
Crossed centuries, hair plaited in uniform styling,
Crossed oceans by sailing – for the devil was flying.
We rise, like temperatures of which Greta once warned,
Like sea levels, about which the Philistines scorned.
We stand here today, a community frozen,
Committed to the inner warmth we have chosen
In abandoning meat, for the chicken’s anxiety,
Wearing shoes made of leaves, for demonstrable piety.
Praise the igloo, the snowfall, the ocean iceberg,
Still here by the grace of Greta Thunberg.”