The blue is shrinking

My poem was selected for the Ekphrastic challenge this time. Thank you, Lorette C. Luzajik. You can read all the chosen poems here.

Painting: The Best is Yet to Come, by Lorette C. Luzajic (Canada) 2019


The blue is shrinking, the pale space the space ships see,
unencumbered with lights and the debris of human lives.

Soon the blue swill will swell, grow green with algae,
brightly speckled with pretty plastic tops, lids, bags

and all the gaily strewn paraphernalia we cannot live without.
The ocean groans already and the thin crust we cut like pie,

digging out the best parts, throwing the rest away. Choking,
we might discover too late, is worse than living without.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

37 thoughts on “The blue is shrinking”

      1. They published a piece of my prose in the magazine, along with a couple of poems.
        I don’t do experimental or abstract. I don’t even like jazz.

      2. I meant it (more or less) literally. Maybe I just see abstract ideas in a concrete form, but the oceans are literally filling up with crap, plastic seen and unseen.
        I suppose I just don’t like the idea of experimental writing. Words are the most precise form of communication, and if the poet intentionally twists them so that nobody else understands, can only make a hazy guess, it seems like pure self-indulgence to me.

      3. It’s all in perception, I suppose. As long as there’s a logic and a thread of thought or imagery, it’s good. When a poet tries to use fancy illogical thought to throw the reader off the scent and think OMG what a clever dick this person it, I get annoyed.

      4. Me too. I’m tempted at times to write sth illogical and fancy to see what happens. I’m sure many editors would say, Wow. That was amazing, though they’d have no idea what’s it about. Must be sth good, right, as I don’t understand it.

      5. It needs a particular way of (not) looking at language. If you’re used to finding the right word to give an impression, it’s hard to find the right word to give no impression at all. It’s gibberish, but fake gibberish. Only a nutter can write true gibberish.

  1. Great poem. Stark prophecy. I am reminded of The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin. There it is the blue of sky that’s lost. And even when the world improves, the blue of sky is gone forever. We could do without the blue of sky, I suppose, but not the water and all we get with water. How long before we learn and act? Too long?

    1. Thank you. I don’t know what makes the sky blue, but maybe we can’t live without that either. Time left? There might be, I hope there is, but the only thing that seems to mobilise the crowds is fear of catching a virus. The earth, the rainforests, the wildlife, the Middle East; the ice caps everything but as long as all that stays out of the news and a long way away, who cares?

  2. Congratulations on your acceptance! I never saw this prompt. I like the image.
    I’m catching up with all the posts I haven’t read. I’m just been busy the last few days–and now daughter told me that her husband may be tested for the virus–and we were in their house this week taking care of their puppies, so now we’re in lockdown, too.

    1. Oh, I hope you’re all in the clear! I don’t imagine you’re high risk but you don’t want to put the theory to the test. We have enough groceries in now for a couple of weeks so apart from the fresh produce from the market there’ll be no need to be in contact with people at all for a while.
      Thank you! I usually do the Ekphrastic prompt even though it’s been ages since they accepted anything of mine.

      1. Just keep washing the hands 🙂
        Husband’s project has a problem. He’s going to have to go out and buy some planks of wood. We’re in for a major hand washing session later…

      2. He has the planks for the windows but can’t make them until we’re in for a long dry spell (we won’t have any windows while he’s fitting them). These planks are to make the sink support.

      1. Indeed, they are. Another writer I follow lives on the Oregon coast and every morning goes out to pick up trash on the beach. Heartbreaking the pounds of small plastic bits that she finds.

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