Last April, I spent one morning of a lakeside vacation picking up litter on the beach.  You’re probably thinking “How cool!” or “Eeeeeeww!”  Maybe both.  Anyway, I carefully catalogued the found items before depositing them into the nearest trash can, hoping my list would one day coalesce into an environmental poem.  It finally did:


Secluded and peaceful,
the shoreline entices
but Nature is watching;
she knows all our vices.

Upon her blue waters
the evidence cast;
Waves gently ensnare it
and toss it right back.

Cigarette butts,
broken glass, rubber bands
rear incongruous heads
from her silky beige sand.

Foil packets from Trojans
and mustard and relish,
and other fine products
that wieners embellish.

A bottle cap heralds
You may be a winner!
But more likely a loser,
a Coke-drinking sinner.

Remnants of fireworks,
exploded hot stuff,
as if sunrise and sunset
weren’t dazzling enough.

Mangled up hooks,
wads of snagged nylon line
near hypoxic dead zones
where the fishin’ ain’t fine.

No shells to collect,
signs of life gravely scant;
one ironic green leaf
from a cheap plastic plant.

When my labor’s complete,
rocks and sand glint and glitter
with sparkling reflections
of sunbeams, not litter.

To clean up our world,
we must each do our part.
So put down some grass roots,
grab a trash bag, and start!

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9 thoughts on “DO YOUR PART ON EARTH DAY

  1. Marissa Bergen April 17, 2016 / 12:13 am

    It’s an interesting project…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…but I think best kept off the beach. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chevvy8 April 17, 2016 / 12:33 am

    Hello Joan really great poem and you’re very good with rhythm and rhyme – feels like there should be music in the background. But your message is also loud and clear about how we treat the Earth. Apart from careless waste, we generally don’t take care of many resources that are God-given. Have a splendid Sunday. – when you wake up:-)

    Best Chevvy

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tippy Gnu April 17, 2016 / 10:07 am

    I got a chuckle from the line, “one ironic green leaf from a cheap plastic plant.” I hope your little beach stayed clean for a while.


    • Just Joan April 17, 2016 / 2:19 pm

      That darn fake leaf was the only piece of trash I couldn’t explain, no idea what it was doing there. Only green thing in sight. Thanks, Tippy. Happy Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Miller April 19, 2016 / 11:37 am

      All that work and you didn’t find any money? What a shame… but we all say “Thank You” just the same. Joanne

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan April 19, 2016 / 12:34 pm

        Apparently, Mother Nature hangs onto the cash and just tosses back junk. Thanks for reading, JM!


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