Gliese Foundation
Gliese Foundation
Climate change, global warming, and the environment

It´s not summer, it´s inferno

Category: Poetry

It´s not summer, it´s inferno  


I´m her neighbor.

We were talking and she said she felt tired.

She looked confused, dizzy.

She sat and complained of headache.

Soon was vomiting and fainted.

I called for an ambulance.

I didn´t know what else to do.

She was pale,

but sweating heavily.

Her pulse was wild.

Then the ambulance arrived.

That´s all I remember, doctor.


It was the cocktail of heat and humidity.

Her body had to sweat,

and the sweat to evaporate.

That´s how our bodies cool themselves.

But it was too humid.

The sweat kept covering all her body,

unable to evaporate,

like being embalmed.

The heat stayed inside her body,

burning, torturing her from inside.

Her heart was racing,

bumping blood to cool her skin.

Less blood was flowing to her vital organs.

It was too much for her old hearth.

Her heart collapsed.

As a doctor I must certify that

your mother died of a heart attack.

The true,  

she was killed by the heat wave.


During Summer

the inner cities are hotter than the suburbs.

Less trees, less shadow,

no grass, only cement.

Truly an urban heat island.

But the worst, heat waves:

much more deadly at the inner cities. 

In the suburbs houses have AC,

people move in cars with AC,

they´re always surrounded by a circle of ice,

but in the inner cities the circle is of fire.

That´s the new inequality,

brought by a devil.

They shouldn't be called heat waves

but inferno.


Pablo Rodas-Martini


Some of the science behind the poem: 

"A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change," June 2017. 

"Southwestern U.S. braces for rare heat wave dangerous to health, aircraft," June 2017. 

"Heat wave hazards include 3rd degree burns, Docs warn," June 2017. 

"Heatwave scorches Europe, from London to Siberia," June 2017.