A Beach Cleanup
Against a backdrop of ships and cruise-liners
and a horizon of grey blue reflecting a cloudy
grey sky as far as the eyes can scan,
we are here to clean this stretch of coast.
We grabbed black trash-bags and disperse,
each finding a spot of beach to pick up
what the tide has washed up.
Start with the big pieces --
the rubber tire took 3 boys
to put on its side, and roll.
Drift wood next, parts of boats --
ropes, a tangle of wires
seed weed entwined.
We freed them after much struggle
and gave up on many.
The aftermath of deck parties
-- paper plates, plastic cups
broken wine and beer bottles,
picked up with care, one by one
deposited into styrofoam boxes
that had floated up to the beach.
And then to the smaller things --
bits of plastic, aluminum cans,
alphabet fridge magnets,
vowels missing except for "U",
not my favorite letter in scrabble too.
Not all parts of the beach are tainted by wastes,
some parts seemed untouched, natural --
wet sands pock marked with holes
filled with little crabs, brown and
red armored spiders with tiny claws
as a giant approaches at the entrance
where small piles of sand are deposited,
and stare wondering how deep they go
-- each a personal sanctuary, away
from sun and skinny-legged sea birds;
at her feet, a multitude of spiral shells
of the belitong and chut-chut, all alive
and lying placid on this clean spot of beach.
This intruder suddenly aware of the devastation
with each step, quickly and with larger steps,
Day's end approaches and we gather the bags
and close them up with cable ties,
then line ourselves up forming a human-chain
conveyer belt, hand to hand, smile for smile
transporting bags of trash away from the beach
and onto a garbage truck waiting by the highway.
We breathed in the fresh sea air one last time,
said our goodbyes and left the beach to the tides.
Posted for dVerse Poetics, a prompt on process. It's dVerse Pub's 1st Anniversary celebrations week. Check out the link, and also the reading of Friedrich Schiller's The Song of the Bell by dVerse regulars.