1000 miles out at sea

1.5gyres-plastic-gyre (2)

Computer model of the global distribution of plastic in the ocean (5Gyre.org)


1000 miles out from the West coast

shining bright caught on an ocean

gyre twirls plastic trash as birds

watch hypnotic wave spin

fish leap from cool depths—

nothing prevents

their hungry



4.5Gyres-microplastics-in-fish (2)Plastic bitten by fish in the North Atlantic ocean during the 5 Gyres SEAChange Expedit

There are five major circulatory ocean currents called ‘gyres’. My poem refers to the North Pacific Gyre west of California.   In the center of these massive rotating pools, plastic, netting, and other ocean trash gravitates. It’s a human mess that we don’t see.  When we discard plastic we assume that it will be recycled or at worst, end up in landfill.  Apparently only 10% of discarded plastic is recycled– 50% goes to landfill and the rest washes out to sea and litters beaches.  I thought twice about showing the picture of the dead fish, but why hide what is happening.  My sources are 5Gyres, a non-profit organization fighting ocean plastic pollution and Environmental Cleanup Coalition.

My nonet includes the five  Secret Keeper Writing Prompt #28 words: Wave, Cool, Prevent, Watch, Bright.

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15 thoughts on “1000 miles out at sea

  1. Very scary Janice , and its getting worse. Latest research in Australia is finding fibres from synthetic clothing flushes from washing machines into the oceans and is adding seriously to these gyres. We are at the top of the food chain…………..eating fish………

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for this link. The information makes sense but is very upsetting. The degree that we are contaminating our world is nothing short of crazy. The comment that 85% of plastics in the environment are micro plastics that can be better absorbed by living creatures is also disturbing–showing that plastic breaking down is not a good thing. Micro plastics continue to absorb toxins (other pollution) and disrupt the health of sea creatures that ingest them and the people who eat fish and seafood.


    1. What were we/they thinking putting beads of plastic into cosmetics. I’ve noticed that the more cosmetic products (toothpaste for example) are ‘enhanced’ the more toxic they are for us and the environment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes- the focus on those products- both in what they offer (quick fixes, promise of beauty) etc and the motivation behind them (cornering the market, getting ahead of the competition, increasing sales) are all short sighted goals- not considering what value these products actually offer and the long term consequences of their use (both to a person and the environment). *sigh* when will ‘we’ learn? I love the mix of creative and informative you have on your blog. Infopoetry? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks…these are the topics on my mind and heart these days (and within the zone I am prepared to get into on the Internet) If you’re in the mood to be freaked out (my reaction)–another commenter, Denis, has left a link to an Australian news report that talks about micro beads, plastic resin fibres from washing machine grey water, and micro plastics–tiny products of larger pieces that have broken down. All these tiny traces of plastic are turning up in the flesh of sea creatures.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks Janice (and Denis) – I’ll check it out. Interestingly, the same program (catalyst) did a great program on gut health and influence on a whole host of diseases (touching on your recent poem).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Seeing plastic pollution all around, in towns, countryside and seas makes me feel ill. It’s another problem that will no doubt takes decades to address. All I can do personally is to reduce, and reduce again, personal plastic use. Your poem is very clear and relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will take decades for sure and I try to reduce too–not an easy task as so much is packaged in it, but worth trying while
      society as a whole comes up with bigger solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for bringing this issue into the spotlight. I knew there was a problem, but this awful facet I was not. I believe California has put into an effect a ban on those beads in shampoo etc that will take effect soon, but again, much too little much too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think legislation for the micro beads is coming here too. Posting this has been an eye opener for me too. I don’t know if you noticed but Denis left a link to a recent report about beads, micro plastic from bigger piece breakdown, and fibres from synthetic fabric washing. Quite upsetting.

      Liked by 1 person

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