Soiling Green

plastic in a puddleliving in a toothpaste lid
on a beach in Cuba
hermit crabs make-do for shelter
twice daily tidal deliveries
dross from our discard dump
dropped in the ocean

choose octopus or blenny in a jar
rope necklace for dolpin and seal
fishing lines impaled in whales
polythene jellyfish for a turtle feast
– death by polymers

no Perelandra  these floating isles
the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
twice the size of Texas – a gush
of petrochemical bottles and bags
and left-offs from trifling amusements
caught in a gyre, umpteen fireworks
cigarette stubs and balloons

soiling green is people
jungles of filth and imbecility
dear God watch how the world ends
not by fire, not by water
plastic next time

1, Perelandra – C.S Lewis’s ‘Voyage to Venus’
2. with reference to Soylent Green – 1970’s dystopian sci-fi

These words from pictures of ‘ the worlds oceans as rubbish dumps‘ – look on our works and despair.
As deterrent, our supermarkets will charge for plastic bags next month. When can we choose not to buy anything wrapped, contained in,  or made from, plastic.

For the Midweek Motif: Choice


  1. You bring the picture of that ghastly garbage dump in the ocean vividly to my mind’s eye. Especially horrible, the thought of whales entwined in the fishing lines. Plastic, once thought such a boon, has had a terrible impact on the planet. Thanks for your powerful poem, which brings the message home.


    1. Set on a polluted, overcrowded earth (sounds familiar?) in 2020, where real food was scare and most ate food rationed wafers – red, yellow & green. The latter supposed to be soy & plankton but books showed the oceans had been dead for years – yes ‘Soylent Green is people’ (was the hero’s dying revelation).


      1. Yes, that is especially dispiriting of us. Plastic is such a nasty substance too. We’ve been fooled into thinking it keeps things fresh, when it leaches toxins, and breeds molds. Kenya’s byways used to be littered with plastic bags hanging shredded in the thorn trees. Doubtless still are…On the other hand, little boys made very nice footballs out of scrumpled plastic bags stuffed into a string net. They did the job and were silent too.


  2. Oh gosh, we would rather look away, wouldn’t we? ‘Twice the size of Texas’ was what hit me most in this poem, because I can picture that – with horror.


  3. not with a bang, but with a whimper – of denialism, it’s not my fault. I’m seeing such monumentally foolish comments around the VW scandal.

    There are the first few shops (in Germany?) where you can buy food with BYO packaging.

    We do have a dedicated and skilled team who cut trapped whales free.
    I’ve seen videos, but I can’t get my head around being ABLE to cut a whale free.


  4. a powerful message in the poem…the way we’re going no wonder the demon- plastic gets the upper hand…sigh…”dear God watch how the world ends / not by fire, not by water / plastic next time”…chilling…


  5. Very powerful, and a great challenge for us all! For years, I couldn’t understand why some plastics were recyclable while others were not, and had to be thrown in the garbage. Thankfully, our new recycling company here in my community will take all plastics, as well as many other types of packaging. Thanks for the challenge to do a better job of taking care of the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

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