Once upon a time…

tell me about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
tell me about the 414 million pieces of plastic that washed ashore on
a tiny island.
tell me that included one million shoes.
tell me about the microplastic in the Marianna trench.
tell me about the bottle caps inside the albatross.
tell me about the dead whales.

tell me about that glow in the early sky.
tell me it is a false dawn.
tell me the sun is already dead.
tell me how they buried it, draped in a plastic shroud.

tell me how this story ends.
tell me how it began.
.
.
.
once upon a time, on a slow-moving sphere of
sparkling blue and emerald green, a light…

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42 thoughts on “Once upon a time…

  1. Ah, you capture the horror in such a factual manner, while also relegating to a space of return back to how it all began. These lines are spot on in particular: “tell me it is a false dawn./tell me the sun is already dead”.

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  2. The repetition in this poem is inspired, Rajani, and so is the way it ends with ‘once upon a time, on a slow-moving sphere of
    sparkling blue and emerald green, a light…’
    A chilling prediction.

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    1. That’s all there will be – body bags made of poetry filled with body parts of the mistakes we have made as a species… but I do hope it doesn’t come to that. I think the kids will take on this fight and maybe even win it. Thanks, Brendan.

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        1. It is too horrible to think that there is no hope to correct both earth systems and ecological breakdown… I’m going to hold on to a tiny bit of hope for a little while longer … because of the kids!

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  3. ” the sun is already dead.
    tell me how they buried it, draped in a plastic shroud.”

    This is heartwrenching

    Much 💥love

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  4. The day will come when the only light we have left is in one story, and we have no one to tell it to. Until then, let’s tell all the true stories to those who are listening. As you do. As you do.

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  5. Ah, how sad. And you make it seem inevitable … Inexorable. And after such a beautiful beginning, too. One could read your lovely finale as saying that life may go on, on a new planet. Hopefully with a different result.

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