Fireworks

I am compelled to write this short piece as a result of having to endure fireworks for the past three weeks. I am wearing (3M’s highest rated pair of) ear defenders as a defence against the fireworks being set off tonight. Will I, once again, have to go to sleep wearing ear defenders?


As a society we must question why fireworks are allowed.

As a society we must ask why it is necessary to be setting off fireworks for three weeks or more for a one-day ‘celebration’.

At the very least, fireworks should not be sold for private use, those that are sold should be of the ‘silent’ variety and their period of use should be restricted (e.g. to 5th November and the nearest Saturday to that date).

To those who use fireworks privately (in particular) and those who attend public displays I ask:

  • Do you consider the people who suffer from PTSD and the consequences of your fireworks for those people?
  • Do you consider the people who suffer from mental health problems and the consequences of your fireworks for those people?
  • Do you consider the people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis and heart problems and the consequences of your fireworks for those people?
  • Do you consider the people with autism and the consequences of your fireworks for those people?
  • Do you consider the people who are admitted to A & E as a result of your fireworks?
  • Do you consider the people who lose their sight as a result of your fireworks?
  • Do you consider the people who suffer psychological and emotional problems resulting from injuries due to your fireworks?

Do you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions and you are still involved with fireworks, I ask: why does your want override such suffering? And I ask you to ensure you do not contribute to any further related suffering.

I also ask:

  • Do you consider the millions of companion animals who suffer great distress as a result of your fireworks?
  • Do you consider the injuries inflicted on animals as a result of your fireworks?
  • Do you consider the number of animals which have to be euthanised as a result of your fireworks?
  • Do you consider the number of animals killed as a result of your fireworks?

Do you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions and you are still involved with fireworks, I ask: why does your want override such suffering? And I ask you to ensure you do not contribute to any further related suffering.

If you answered ‘no’ to all those questions, I ask that you begin to consider the consequences of your fireworks and ensure you do not contribute to any further related suffering.

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Those Who Wish

I wrote the poem below because of my sensitivity to noise and society’s seeming need for ever greater amounts of noise.  Simple acts like using edging shears instead of a strimmer (particularly a petrol powered strimmer) can make a difference to a neighbourhood’s noise levels.

Those Who Wish

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to read?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to write?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to think?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to wonder?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish for quiet?

Those who wish to read,
Those who wish to write,
Those who wish to think,
Those who wish to wonder,
Those who wish for quiet;
Where are their rights?