Ratcliffe Power Station Cooling Towers
We're taken to see the lion in its cage.
It's always feeding time. Our guide
escorts us past the tamed gauges.
We can hear it roar. We all stand aside.
The solemnities of a furnace door
opened, and we're all flown at once
from the high Arctic to Zanzibar.
Coal being freed from its long sentence.
We imagine sticking our heads in there.
Some days the cooling towers' plume
covers four English counties. We're
inside the elephant in the room.
• Written in response to a visit to Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, at E.ON's invitation, to mark National Poetry Day, Thursday October 9 2008.
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