‘When you know the water’s coming’ by Liv Torc

‘When you know the water’s coming’ was written by Somerset poet Liv Torc for the United Nations’ COP26 climate change conference held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Ms Torc’s personal take on prospects for the Somerset Levels and Moors, it’s performed in the video below.

Liv worked with Adapting the Levels through the international Hot Poets project.

The aim of Adapting the Levels is to get Somerset people and organisations co-operating and adapting to the water-related effects of climate change (flooding and drought).

Adapting the Levels is led by the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SW), Somerset Wildlife Trust and Somerset County Council, with support from Somerset Rivers Authority’s Community Engagement team. The project is joint-funded by Somerset Rivers Authority and the EU’s Interreg 2Seas programme.

Hot Poets is funded by Arts Council England and run by Tongue Fu, Chris Redmond and Liv Torc for COP26.

Here’s the video: then there’s more below…

At COP26 Liv performed her poem three times.

She said: “It was seen by politicians, UN ambassadors and scientists and was so well received and provoked really interesting discussions. Honestly in the context of a climate change conference it was the perfect poem.”

A few lines from the poem:

“In Somerset, where I live now
we know the water’s coming…

“Every winter, to remind us,
the sky falls down to paint the fields with its reflection.
A mirror for the moon to check her smile in,
before she blows a wobbly kiss
up the Bristol Channel to the shore,
into the plastic playground at Atlanta’s door.”

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