Our Plastic Soul

A continually conjured death storm
churns through ocean gyres,
where albatross gather trinkets of death
then carry them back to their family nest.
Human neglect slides down necks.
Bottle caps, lighters, tubing, and knobs.
Fishing twine: human dreck.

Stomachs impacted with plastic trash
albatross struggle and moan.
Disregard sighs as bird spirits die beneath
consumption’s immortal disguise.

Ashes to ashes and plastic to bone
back bending vertebrae of the unknown
filaments flutter as feathers unfurl
through garbage that haunts
and ever uncurls
reflecting our plastic soul.


Brenda Warren 2014

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28 thoughts on “Our Plastic Soul

    • Yes, it is moving. I’m glad you shared your thoughts. Students (12 and 13 years old) at school watched the clip posted here. It woke an activist spirit in some of them. Many were indignant, appalled, saddened. They’ve been doing some writing about it, too. I’d love to see the entire film, but it doesn’t appear for sale anywhere yet.


  1. Of course it doesn’t end with the birds but sea creatures themselves where discarded lines and nets trap and kill them too. Humans are quite inhuman really. Poignant and telling post Brenda.


  2. There are many levels running strongly through this piece..plastic really does sum up the greed and excess we spew out into the world..no amount will ever make us satisfied though..maybe we are as tangled up in our mess as the birds..


  3. The image of the moaning albatross now will stay before my eyes for while…very real life images in your poem, acting verbs makes it all move with smells and sounds! Great! ~ I love the video, these birds and Pacific – something I will visit once…


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