Pelt by Michael Symmons Roberts


Pelt’ is the first poem from Michael Symmons Roberts’s 2004 collection Corpus. Roberts is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been described as a religious poet for a secular age. Personally, I found this to be the most chilling of all the poems showcased here.


I found the world’s pelt nailed
to the picture-rail of a box-room
in a cheap hotel. 

So that’s why rivers dry to scabs,
that’s why the grass weeps every
dawn, that’s why the wind feels raw:
the earth’s an open wound,

and here, its skin hangs like a
trophy, atrophied beyond all
taxidermy, shrunk into a hearth rug.
Who fleeced it? 

No record in the guest-book. No
one paid, just pocketed the blade
and walked, leaving the bed
untouched, TV pleasing itself.

Maybe there was no knife. Maybe
the world shrugs off a hide each
year to grow a fresh one. 

That pelt was thick as reindeer, 
so black it flashed with blue. I
tried it on, of course, but no.

Michael Symmons Roberts

As The Crisis Escalates…

In our natural world, the issues of climate catastrophe and species extinction is a priority. Stories related to pollution, greenhouse gases, the depleting ozone layer, glacier meltdowns etc. have turned pivotal if we are to attempt to salvage what’s left of our planet earth. We as readers and responsible citizens need to take the threats to our environment seriously. We need to worry about the consequences of damaging the earth and its atmosphere and focus on finding solutions based on scientific facts, not political prejudice or business interests.

As climate change continues to wreak havoc on populations across globe, writers are fighting back with words that jolt, motivate, and best of all, provoke one to act.

Through this platform, I’m offering to the readers, a slim anthology of poems on the subject of climate change. Slim, but by no means weak or tepid. This is poetry that investigates human relationships with the environment. Each poem offers a unique perspective on climate change in its own style. All of the poems here are free to read online, and all are worth your time.

The anthology consists of ten poems that will be published weekly, compiled by Vinita Agarwal.

You may also like ...