The Plastific Ocean

The Plastific Ocean made it over the line for third prize in the Seaweek / World Oceans Day Poetry Competition 2018, organized by the National Aquarium in Napier.

The Plastific Ocean

News item: When researchers travelled to tiny, uninhabited Henderson Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches

38 million floating clumps washed up from the deep
from plastigomerate that drifts in ocean going fleets.
Polyflotsam decorates the reef on Polynesian atolls
and polyjetsam floats in the blue between the melting poles.

A hermit crab is helmeted by a Pepsi cap,
and Robinson Crusoe is sealed up in bubblewrap.
A ghost net traps a turtle swimming in microdebris soup,
as anoxic toxic brine curdles in the North Pacific loop.

Gruesome anglerfish cower amongst the sinking trash,
plastic rings for seabirds are a deadly strangling sash.
There are balls and bags and tangled tesseracts of sellotape,
while in the roaring forties shoals of biros round the Cape.

If one evening you beachcomb on the littered shore,
do not hold a shell to your ear to listen to the waves dull roar.
Hear instead the whisper from a polystyrene coffee cup:
get your act together, because time is nearly up.

 

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