Notre maison brûle

I posted this only two months ago, but I’m posting it again in recognition to Jacques Chirac who died today, for at least coming up with this memorable phrase, even if he never actually got around to doing anything to tackle climate change.


Notre maison brûle

and we look away;

the airflight is only a justified holiday,

the cruise only a well-deserved dream,

the heating turned up high

so we can wear tee-shirts at Christmas

is only comfort,

let the bath water run and run and run.

The car is only practical

and strawberries in January is fun.


Notre maison brûle

but we turn up the heat

and we turn on the taps,

we eat what we shouldn’t

and feed plastic bags to whales,

bottle tops choke seabird chicks

and families scavenge in open middens.

We dole out death with plastic and pleasure

but we have good reasons.


In an Alaskan town we watch a polar bear starve.

We wipe away a tear

and turn the heating up a notch.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

16 thoughts on “Notre maison brûle”

  1. R.I.P. Jacques Chirac.
    But what should he have done about climate change? Industry gives jobs, money and prosperity. Most of the money was made by exploiting resources, and cheaply disposing of waste. ;-(
    Aren’t we researching for a second earth? 😉

      1. Just researching to the Pope last speech to German bishops. He wants to have “Evangelization”, for Europe first said around 1995. But Germany wants to earn money in Africa, where the “catholic chip” is missionary driven present in the brains of most people. Will the have a ongoing partnership, or Germany drifting away to the Lutheran Church? 🙂

      1. Everything is slipping away, even the land is being eaten away by the oceans. Pesticides outlawed forty years ago are still found in our organism, still stored in the soil, still killing insects and birds.

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