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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