Monday, 11 June 2018


time was all that sea had left

eroded wood, brown wrack and the spittle of the waves
came to beach with storm-sand wrapped in kelp and tangle
dried foam flecked like useless rage
on the pursed lips of the shore

another day’s flood heaved rust and metal
empty oil cans that echoed with shipboard engines
and deflated washed up buoys rocking sorrowful
among shoes with parted uppers whose salt stained
soles ran riding in the flotsam swell

yesterday’s ebb and flow stranded the anatomy of dolls
dislocated arms and legs the effigies of future generations
lost or drowned hiding the shame to come in seaweed

half a century went in the blink of an open-and-close eye
metal weights tilted those lifeless lids to see what we cannot
to see rising with the tide as it swells
everything we have ever made coming now to bury us

who consigned all that was useless to the deep
the leftovers the waste the by-products spoil and detritus
debris leavings fragments the sediment of acquisition
of materialism of limitless folly and greed

everything discarded
everything dug into pit and slag heap
everything that rivers carried the sea ground to dust
pulverised into beads as invisible as guilt
the world and the life upon it choking
while we stagger on

plastic coats our eyes with a film of blindness
a dead lens through which we see nothing amiss
and in our ears it clogs the senses
our mealy mouths speak no word of this

too much rubbish has escaped our notice
because there is too much money still to be made
by those who value money above all else
and wrap their polyethylene winding sheets tight
but the poison is already in the vein
already in the bloodstreams of animals
already corroding the fragile bones of fish
already in the gizzards of birds
and in trees in phloem and xylem
part of every leaf and stem

for we are dying out already, slow and steady,
our unwitting suicide the sixth extinction
on this gibbet of a world

© Brian Hill

50 nations 'curbing plastic pollution'

Brian Hill. 50 years a poet. One-time designer and film-maker; long ago, the rhyme-slinger, cartoon cowboy, and planetarium poet; now feverishly stringing words together in the hope of making sense.
Brian blogs as Scumdadio (don’t ask).