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Tom's Rime of the Modern Mariner

 Please read the "Rime of the ancient Mariner" as well - it's a spectacular poem.


Rhyme of the Modern Mariner

I was a modern Mariner

I spent my life at sea.

So sit there for a moment

and listen carefully to me.


Listen closely I say to a young one,

I have a story to tell.

It’s sad and wise and learns a lesson

that you can spread to the world. 


For once upon a time I was a sailor

a fisherman of the deep.

And I learned some lessons the hard way

you see the Ocean’s not ours to keep!


And so it starts I take a uber 

from City to the Port.

To board a ship to see the World

and leave my home up North.


We’re heading South to fish the seas, 

to the Southern Oceans we go.

Where the icebergs roam and tempests swirl

and the fiercest winds do blow.


But we don’t fear them, no way!

Our ship is fast and strong.

Our radar picks up weather fronts

so we can run along.


Our GPS and mapping 

shows us all the land and bays.

So when a storm comes along

we can safely hide away.


The icebergs - they’re no worry

our hull is extra thick.

We’ll push them out of our way

and keep fishing double quick.


The Ocean is so big and vast 

we’ll haul our nets up full.

And when the nets are empty 

we will find another school.


Our fish finders can detect 

to such an accurate degree,

that we drop our nets around them

and take all the fish we see.


Our trash - well it goes over board

the sea can deal with that.

Why pay a fee when we get to port

when we can dump all our crap?


And if a net does starts to break

the sea can have that too.

For it’s no thought to us on board

if it snags whales and turtles in the blue.


The ocean is no more 

than a resource for us to use.

We’ll fish and mine and take want we want

then dump all our refuse.


Who cares about the garbage patch

or the sea temperature rise?

As long as I can get my fish

I’ll happily rest my weary eyes.


We roam through the Oceans

there’s no life to see down there .

The whales are but a speed bump

and the dolphins - well I don’t care!


Sailors of old were scared

and a superstitious bunch to boot.

If we see a flying Albatross 

no one shows interest, we stay mute.


Water water every where

and we have so much to drink.

Our desalinator makes it fresh

and heats our showers and sink.


Alone alone, all all alone

I’m never alone at sea.

We have satellite internet

so I can Skype my family.


And then one Port I take a break

and fly to the Ningaloo.

I try a dive it blows my mind

the scene is quite untrue. 


The colours - they simply can’t be real, 

the fish so many shapes.

The turtles, sharks and manta rays

is this real for goodness sake?


How can I have lived 2 score and ten

years upon this Earth?

And never looked under the sea 

to see what it is worth.


Day after day, day after day

I snorkelled and swam in delight.

Whale sharks, rays and octopus

filled my heart with light.


This ocean of ours is so precious

that’s what my Whale Shark guide had said.

There’s a warm water event in South America

that leaves all the Indian Ocean corals dead.


How can it be so connected?

It provides 70% of our Oxygen too. 

Then why do we not protect it

for the future generation or two.


Nearly a quarter of the world’s people

rely on the Ocean for a protein source.

But we empty the Oceans with mega ships

and throw plastic upon their shores.


I watch a baby turtle

hatch up from beneath the sand.

I wonder how his life will be 

in an Ocean ruined by man.


I looked to Heaven and tried to pray

that I might make things right -

for all the damage we had done 

fishing all day and night.


But now the holiday is over

this dream has come to an end.

It’s time to get back on the ship

the nets to the Ocean I’ll send.


But when I pull up to the ship’s gangway

my eyes see clearly now.

The water is so filthy

can I do this this job, and how?


I look upon the rotting sea

and draw my eyes away.

I look upon the stinking port

and there the dead fish lay. 


I’ve seen such wondrous things

with my face just under the surface.

That now to throw the nets back in

goes against my new found purpose.