Emptying The Sea

The boats of painted iron,
Slowly corroding in the salt air,
Leave harbour to scour the waters.
Trawling, dredging, scrapping, netting and lining
For anything that lives
To be dragged on board.
Relentlessly, day and night they search
Hoovering up the fish
Into ice-chilled coffins.
Except those unwanted, useless
Or too small to keep,
Slung dead into the depths.
Fully one third of the slaughter
Never makes it to the plate,
Rotting away to no avail.
And still they search, day and night
Further and longer and deeper,
Until nothing is left,
Nothing is left,
Nothing.

Luke Eastwood is a horticulturist and writer based in Ireland. You can read more of his work at lukeeastwood.com. Read other articles by Luke, or visit Luke's website.