The Ecologist


Copyright David Sandison/Greenpeace.

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One skyscraper. Six brave women. No permission.

Helen Moore

On 11th July 2013 six women from Greenpeace scaled the Shard - Europe's tallest building - in protest over Shell and other companies drilling for oil in the Arctic. This act of bravery inspired a new poem from the pen of UK Eco-poet Helen Moore.....






You’ve been going 12 hours (starting 4.20am)

when I encounter you online,


grainy, flicking images like a silent movie, this livestream

from a Greenpeace camera


mounted on one of your helmets, & see flashes of the Shard’s

angled glass


making multiple Suns, helicopters queasy in July’s heat, & your hands

in black, half-finger gloves


endlessly reaching, fixing the belay of ropes, inching past Shangri-La

50th floor – & o


my vertigo, pixel-sized police, ambulance crews, commuters gaping

pressmen with erect


telephoto-lenses encamped on the pavement, & the glinting tracks

of London Bridge station. 


Palms sweating, my heart’s under sail toward my larynx as I watch

trending on Twitter


six women freely ascending Europe’s tallest building (hubristic

simulacrum of our remnant Arctic) –


Viola, Sabine, Victo, Liesbeth, Ali & Sandra calmly enduring

not for the drug-like rush


of extreme sport, but as a ‘direct communication’ with Royal

Dutch Shell (its mute executives


enshrined in nearby headquarters) where it’s still

business as usual


Helen Moore is an eco-poet and activist based in the UK

You can read more on this campaign here.




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