The tide has come in this morning.
Across the channel, England recedes,
nearly obscured in a political fog.
Here, on the coast of Brittany,
the surf laps against the beauty
of the Iroise beach, stretching
itself as a lazy cat might do
in the still-sleepy light
of the just-awakened sun,
and the fishing waves bring in
their morning catch, huge feline eyeballs
encased in petroleum-derived plastic,
and, looking into those glaring globes,
I feel a certain nostalgic sadness
mixed with fears of global warming
and the likely destruction of our planet.
Tristan found the same thing yesterday,
Claire and Simon, the day before;
the discoveries rang in our ears
like the hell’s-bells-on jangling
of a novelty telephone from the 1980s.
The tide–read this stanza metaphorically–
once delivered organically-sourced,
like driftwood and such, that kept us
aligned with the then-robust natural world,
but now its dredgings render the eternal
waste of reckless overconsumption.
Hey you, whom I can’t quite
commit myself to loving
but actually do rather like,
let’s at least be good to each other,
and maybe go out to that new
Italian place to drink red wine
and eat lasagne, because
the brave new world has shown
itself cowardly and mean,
all its promises broken.
And here we are on this lovely beach,
even here assaulted
by the detritus of popular culture
molded in orange plastic.
T. Allen Culpepper