memo from nemo

From out of the surf the Nautilus beaches
scattering bathers with screams and screeches
alarmed by its cannons and other features
boiling sea foam seething from its vents
as it plows nose-first through the parasols & tents

a cautious crowd converges
overcoming their natural urges
drawn to see what emerges
holding up smartphones on sticks
jostling for selfie pics

the rusting periscope is snagged with bags
the portholes encrusted with condoms and pads
the propeller comprehensively snagged
the whole thing lying like a rotten fish
a bad chef served as a stinking dish

the children gasp and hug their mothers
as the submarine convulsively flaps its rudders
the crapped-up top hatch shudders
then rises up with a noxious sigh
rasps on its hinges and clatters aside

After a minute the captain climbs out
flinty blue eyes, whiskery snout
stands, glances fiercely about
then flings his cap with a violent motion
shouts ‘Who the hell’s been polluting my ocean?

‘Twenty thousand leagues have I travelled
warships sunk and giant squid battled
just to see the system unravelled
with cotton buds and wrappers and bottles
and a million happy meal Ronald fucking Mcdonalds

‘My beloved Atlantis! Completely ruined!
You have no idea what this shit’s doing
clingfilm, parcel tape, wrappers & bags
styrofoam cups and the filters from fags
spoons and stirrers and coffee utensils
felt tip pens, colouring pencils
fishing nets, yogurt pots
toothbrush holders, dental floss
and then – at the risk of sounding sarcastic
– the biggest risk of all, MICROPLASTIC!

With that he flushes and glares at the crowd
who listen to his speech with their heads unbowed
smiling and waving and calling out loud
‘Ah what’s the use! he says. ‘It’s pointless shoutin’ at yah
Someone fetch me David Attenborough’


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