message in a bunch of bottles (reposting)


message in a bunch of bottles

water once washed
the rocks; then, at least, wet
them, but now this is
an ex-stream–what bubbles is
blown bag, what’s damned is
plastic, what slivers sun
aluminum, canned flotsam,
and what water bobs
is branded–

bottles bottles everywhere
nor any drop
to drink–
bottles bottles everywhere
oh how the flow
does shrink.


draft poem for Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, 55 words arising from an idea of the extreme.  Pic is mine; all rights reserved. 

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18 Comments on “message in a bunch of bottles (reposting)”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    Well, I shall try again. This is concise and unsentimental, without losing any imagery or linguistic brushwork in a certain kind of melancholy. Personal health(or the fads which surround) may take a higher toll on planetary health, and if so, what a stretch of dry and bitter riverbed we have yet to fully traverse. A pleasure to read your work again, k.

  2. This is brilliant but oh so tragic. I’m old enough to remember the purity of our waterways. Your wordplay (ex-stream, damned) makes me a bit envious.

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Your piece is so on point, though I wish it were not so that the problem of litter has reached such epic and extreme proportions. Such a shame on us all.

  4. othermary Says:

    Cleverly worded, and sadly all too often true.

  5. First I love the reference to the Police in your title (intentional or not).. secondly the alternate (and tragic) use of ex-stream, a pun the make me choke. A sharp and biting poem that puts shame on us all…

  6. Jim Says:

    I like it, k. Yearning for the good old days of glass and sand there in the rubish washes. It’s hard anymore to find a good bottle for a rolled up message.

  7. It’s disturbing indeed.

  8. This is spot on…How we humans have failed the planet. I don’t understand how people can litter. It comes with such a high price.

  9. gillena Says:

    Witty with a serious message within. Enjoyed

    Much love…

  10. Raivenne Says:

    Oh you have nailed this head on. How we have trashed, literally, so much of our shores/beaches is deplorable.

  11. Sumana Roy Says:

    sigh…only humans are capable of such menace…a clever write….

  12. Poignant and powerful!

  13. Excellent word play…

    The progression of the river into near extinction gives this poem fire that consumes the heart.

  14. Helen Dehner Says:

    I feel the despair, frustration in every word … great write Karin!!

  15. And it shrinks and shrinks. Loved this poem. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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