In the Soup


In the Soup

The soup at the mouth of the river
is–broadly speaking–vegetable,
despite its heavy oil content,
(not fish chowder, not

The ocean at the underside of the plastic wrap
has not preserved
its freshness.

Whales within range
of sonar waves
swim like the punch drunk
if the punch drunk were puppet-strung
to fall up.

Whales, falling up, surface
too fast; fail.

Even whales that get down again
after their falls up,
face failing.
A swallow
of plastic wrap
is a surfeit
for a whale.

The soup at the mouth of
the river
is like one of those dishes
made of leftovers that, constantly added to,
never diminishes–
octane a la king
heavy metal tettrazini
nitrate roulade
petro-chili goulash bisque
(sometimes with rice).

There are ever more buckets
of it, tons
and megatons.

Maybe as many
as there are drops
of plastic-wrapped

Certainly more
than tears shed
for dead whales.


Here’s another sort of drafty poem riffing on Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt to use a book title for a poem; I am posting this one for the Real Toads Open Forum.  The photo, modified by me, is subject to a common use license–originally made by Whit Wells (Wwells14). 

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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20 Comments on “In the Soup”

  1. The end delivers such a punch (though I had an inkling where it was heading).. the imagery of the water and leftovers bring to mind the dread of garbage and waste.. (but it might not have been the intention). Anyway we never know what’s in the soup, or that a vegetable is a vegetable… I recall an even when a friend found a roach in the soup, and thought it was vegetable before he noticed the legs.

  2. Kenn Says:

    I never really cared for sea food, but I liked the fresh concept that you through on top of this like saran wrap.

  3. So sad, the plastic wrapped ocean with its soup of toxins. Such a good write on a thought-provoking topic.

  4. brian miller Says:

    ok, first response was ewww…ha…as I have seen the soup….the closure on this makes it poignant…so sad to see the whales pass…the plastic (trash) collected as well….ugh…

  5. coalblack Says:

    The clever word-play can’t mitigate the sorrow at the heart of this.

  6. A powerful write here…clever yet deep with emotion.

  7. So very sad–such a powerful punch in your words today

  8. Marian Says:

    ahhh… yeah. so unbearably depressing.

  9. hedgewitch Says:

    Ugh–such a lovely poem in lilt and phrase, with such ugly truth embedded in it. And I think there is something vital missing from human souls that could read it and not want to change the way things are. You’ve done a really craftsman-like job with the difficult images in this, k–the falling up(so like throwing up) and the soup itself that we have kettled up for the unfortunate millions of species we prey on and exploit, or simply destroy gratuitously in the Big Broth out there. Fine writing.

  10. Oh wow! What a powerful environmental piece. There are way too many things I love about this to try and focus on just one! My oldest daughter works for the TCEQ here in Texas. Her focus is on water, the estuaries in particular. I will share this with her!

  11. Mama Zen Says:

    What powerful imagery! You made it just as icky and tragic as it is.

  12. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Such an excellent opening line, Karin. I thought every sentence of your poem held such a unique and weighty idea, excellent imagery. It is a painful subject but you have written without sentiment or moralizing, simply stating what hangs in the balance. I found the whole very impacting.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks–for some reason the opening line kept coming in my head thinking of your prompt–and after a couple of days the rest of the poem. Thanks for the prompt–it is such an interesting approach and I find very mind-opening. Thanks as always for your kind support.


      On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:21 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  13. I loved your poem even though it was a sad piece. What are we doing? Why are we doing it?

    Greetings from London.

  14. margaret Says:

    Scientists say if the whales go, so do humans. They say they are our filter and we just have no idea of how important they are.

  15. lynn__ Says:

    This makes me sad for the whales who must live in and swallow our dirtied soup (how can we clean it up?) Well written!

  16. M Says:

    living near the ocean, participating in beach clean-ups… humans are, well, how did Mr Smith put it in the Matrix? like a virus… ~

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