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Saturday 11 May 2013

Prelude to Disaster

The sea's fluorescent hues
deepen the shadows of the bay;
the moon's graffiti on the crests
and troughs shine white as chalk
cliffs on a summer's day
and caution as to what the sea
can silently absorb.

In rock pools where the sea
sets out its stall the hermit crab,
the algae, sponges, green leaf worms
and jelly fish are overwhelmed
by bubble wrap and plastic bags,
condoms and bottle tops, tin foil
and wire -- they bring no punters in.

And out beyond the breakers where
the sea heaves like a gasping chest,
now eiderdowned in decayed leaves...
not leaves, as in some woodland pond,
but decayed fish. They swam into
a toxic pool. Fluorescence here
is oil and water: that which cannot wed.

Written for this week's prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where the suggestion was that we should write a prelude to a poem that does not exist yet.


Mary said...

Yes indeed, that is definitely a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, it has started already. The details you included set the stage. One can hope that there will not be more stanzas to this poem....that the prelude will be all there is, that disaster will be averted. Somehow.

jabblog said...

This is a tragedy that could be avoided.

'the sea heaves like a gasping chest' - what a brilliant line.

Brian Miller said...

moon graffiti...now that is a cool descriptor...ugh though on what your poem portends...a brutal future we create...

hedgewitch said...

Yes, in many ways we are living in a shadow of what was, a prelude to disaster--ecologically,socially, culturally. Your poem is chilling, the details drain the heart with the puncture of sheer evil--the true evil, our lack of responsibility to the planet and to our species and every other. A conservative Senator trotted out this phrase the other day: "God will not let us ruin the earth, so we don't need to worry.' Such a rationalization is a staggering abdication of personal responsibility(not to mention logic) and to me truly frightening. Okay--off my soapbox now ;_)--great poem, David.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

The sad thing about these distasters is that they are totally avoidable...if only we open our eyes.

Helen said...

.. what are we doing? To our world, to ourselves?

hyperCRYPTICal said...

We are destroying our environment and close our eyes to it..tis our children that shall bare the burden...

Anna :o[

Grace said...

The sea's beauty is in contrast with the plastic bags, decayed fish and toxic pool ~ A tragedy we all have to bear and respond some day ~

The title is very eye-catching too ~

Tommaso Gervasutti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tommaso Gervasutti said...

A rightfully pitiless, utterly real and powerful poetic meditation on our day and age.

Elephant's Child said...

Oh Dave. It doesn't come much darker than this - and how I wish it was fantasy.
I also really like the moon grafitti, the gasping chest and the overwhelmed rock pool. Thank you (I think).

Dave King said...

Thanks everyone and apologies once more for being so far behind. We all seem to be pretty much agreed that in many ways these are dark times we are living through. It got me wondering how many people since human life began have lived through times that were not dark. When I was a boy there was the war, then there was the cold war, now there is global terrorism and global warming. Before cancer there was T.B. Always there seems to have been something to strike fear into the human heart. Maybe poetry should pick up from religion and shout the joys and the worthwhile nature of life.