The Gyre

Poet: Daniel Neer | Composer: Robinson McClellan

The northern Pacific Ocean has its own Ophelia.
Bordered by continents and a handful of nations
An enormous vastness
Between our shared kingdoms
It’s unnatural resource created
By a demanding global family

Kingdoms rivaling each other
Science, industry, human achievement
Billions demanding each others attention
Emails, cell phones, beepers, blogs, twitters and tweets
Jockeying for power and instant knowledge
Turning half a globe of coastal kingdoms
Into intimate residents of insular castles
Not at war with each other,
But at war with themselves
And all mankind

She floats with no home
Un-tethered and boundless
From a great height I can almost see
Her long hair and floral head piece flowing
Out in a northern spectral
And completing the swirl
Floating garments desperately reach out
To strange places
With names like Sapporo, the Aleutians,
Vancouver, Oahu and Taiwan
From a thousand feet above
I swear I can make out her face
The blank eyes just below the surface
Looking up with resignation
She slowly undulates
Dead, but not at rest

I see this beautiful site from atmosphere’s edge
And being a curious animal
My sponge-thirsty brain
(Savvy from CNN, Dateline NBC and Discovery Channel)
Needs to see more of this Lady’s corpse
Anxious for a closer look
I nose-dive towards the blue abyss

She is comprised of one hundred million tons of plastic
2.5% of all plastic items made since 1950
A massive swirling garbage heap in the Pacific Ocean Gyre
A colorful and translucent kaleidoscope-garland:
Shopping bags, marine craft jetsom, empty water bottles
Baking in the suns glow
Not biodegrading but photodegrading into brittle neustonic bits
One million particles per square mile
Swallowed by fish, gobbled by birds
Who school in a swirl
A mass twice the size of the state of Texas
Souvenirs as far as the eye can see
Of quickened living

She is a permanent swirling grave
And having broken free from all chains
And out of step with our brusque tempo
She collects a million tune fragments
From the coastlines of our kingdoms
Mingling them together
Into a new world symphony
As the ocean currents wash again and again
Her unimaginable sadness