Pacific Garbage Sprawl

"My poor old island's still un-rediscovered",
poor old Crusoe's lament! Not even you
would ever survive being shipwrecked here,
washed up on this sterile folly continent
with no life-support, just syringes,
cigarette lighters, toothbrushes. Marooned,
no genius might civilize such a profuse
gyrating vortex, mostly plastic refuse,
nurdles and whatnot, hurled off ships and land.

Step on shore sailor, try imagining the tree,
or through those narrowed pupils, just a shade of green
shadowing the hueless epicenter. Could you squeeze
a few weak baby-steps against the hundreds of
nautical miles past Hawaii, almost to Japan,
trudging these final, fatal seconds, as the folds
of bin-liners, footballs, credit-cards drag you down
like quicksand? Try to breathe.

The Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage
Patches are two linked continents of swirling junk
translucently submerged, a hemisphere's leftover gunk
joined in a sloshing soup. "Every little piece
of plastic manufactured in the past 50 years
that made it to the ocean is still out there
somewhere," says Tony Andrady, a chemist.


Nothing, or a little malice? Death
of a million seabirds, a hundred thousand marine mammals
every year. Plastic Atlantis rising
becomes a predatory animal itself. Crusoe's reduced
to scavenge from the heartless, inorganic, barren sprawl.
And Man Friday? Perhaps a mangled Ken-doll.

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