Photo above: Sea turtle entangled in a ghost net. Credit Doug Helton

Colin Watts poetically explores the darker side of humanity’s relationship with the sea (with apologies to John Masefield)


Cavalcades of cruise ships sniffing out the flesh pots.
Dubrovnik, Galapagos, Venice, bear the scars.
With their gutsful of tourists,
oil, fumes and sewage:
poison breath daily like a million cars.

Packs of Bahri arms ships acting for the Saudis,
ports of call in England, America and France.
With their payloads of missiles,
guns, bombs and fighter jets:
all bound for Yemen in a dirty war dance.

Overkill of fishing boats scouring the oceans;
tuna, monkfish, halibut; their futures wrecked.
With their jetsam of ‘ghost gear’ –
lines, nets and baskets:
seals, rays and turtles hanged by the neck.

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