On Ulva

56° 28.112’ N, 6°13.130’ W, 23.05.2019

We come ashore
Like astronauts
All suits and boots and harnesses
And walk among
Ulva’s ruins
And standing stones,
Visitors to another world,
One in decline.
A shoreline
So littered with debris
And dead crabs
That it strikes the heart.
For sea-worshippers
The shore is a sacred place
And this one has been defiled.
Wolf Island sits and watches us
With a baleful gaze
That says
You will be next.
You are on the path now
And that path is loss,
Loss of everything
You love.
We prepare to return,
Our sad record haul
Sits above the high-water mark
Waiting for transportation.
But the worst thing,
The most soul-destroying thing
Is not the sheer amount of plastic,
But the way
It has insinuated itself
Into the very fabric
Of the island,
Ensnaring rocks
Entwining with earth and roots
Become the lattice, the trellis
Through which
Plants and seaweed
We leave dumbstruck,
Speechless in our grief.
Our hearts have reached
Peak plastic.