Planet Zero by Kate Young



Kate Young is a semi-retired teacher living in Kent. Her poetry has been published in webzines and chapbooks, also in the anthologies Places of Poetry and Write Out Loud. Kate particularly enjoys responding to Ekphrastic challenges as she loves Art and painting.  Her pamphlet A Spark in the Darkness has been published by Hedgehog Press.

Find her on Twitter: @Kateyoung12poet































Early on we learnt the equation

zero    =   failure

a red gasp of a mark swallowed

in the hollow gut of defeat


but that has been turned on its head

like living an oxymoron

on a planet no longer sure

of its polar from its plexus.


Seasons tumble in cartwheels

leaves rustle their dissent

as a rogue potentilla bud

pokes its head into autumn


a roar of yellow profanity

cuts across the moonlight

opens its mouth in surprise

a gate-crasher late to the party.


Masters in miscreation

we conjure floods out of dust

arctic fires out of ice

skulls from calcified coral.


The world rotates, gathers pace

its topsy-turvy dance

curled like temptation

on the tip of a tongue


it licks at the permafrost

thaws holes of Swiss cheese

drives polar bears inland

to scavenge for scraps of seal.


Myriads of hungry bins open

their mouths in anticipation

begging to be fed

with the nectar of extinction.


Somewhere a disembodied voice

stutters over airwaves

target: zero waste to landfill  

nil    nothing    none


but now this planet dreams of zero

armies of noughts, pumped

with the sweet semibreve of success.

Earth holds her breath.



Kate Young


Kate’s pamphlet, A Spark in the Darkness, is available to purchase from her publisher, Hedgehog Press. Clink book cover for more info.

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No Ordinary Apothecary by Kate Young

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