Sunday, April 21, 2013

3 Year's since the Gulf Spill... remembrance of the oil spill that left our Gulf Coast in ruins, and in honor of its recovery, I've republished, "Poisoning the Gulf," a short that I penned with heavy heart, following the disaster.  

Enjoy, and never forget...


A rogue pelican flutters thirty feet above the coastline bordering Louisiana's southern peninsula. No longer capable of spreading its wings to their full width, its movements appear awkward, its trajectory tilted as if the bird were attempting to fly at a ninety degree angle.

It hitches a ride on an ocean breeze, the winds pushing the incoming tide toward the deserted shoreline.

Lowering its body to a foot or two above the rolling waves, the bird dips its head into the water as it veers into a glide. Submerged no more than a second, then rising, struggling to gain altitude.

Its bucket-shaped bill, designed for scooping unsuspecting fish from the ocean's current, has captured only a mouthful of sludge, which slowly drains from either side of its mouth like a busted sewer pipe. Rotting sewage returning to its basin to ferment under a bayou heatwave.

The pelican hasn't fed in a week. While fish dot the water's surface in vast numbers, their silver scales resembling diamonds sparkling in a field of tar, they're floating with the tide, lost to the poison. The few survivors have gone deep, in search of an ocean free of disease.

A filmy layer of mucus blocks the pelican's vision, allowing it access to a world gone black, through a line of sight the size of a pinhole. And of course there's the added weight to consider. With every plummet to the water in search of food, a fresh veil of oil coats the bird's already failing wings. Unlike salt-water, the poison refuses to filter through the its feathers, but instead clings to anything within reach, forming a mold, slowly enveloping its victim like a spider's web.

Hunger pains grab the bird's spine and clench. It calls out for assistance, but finds none. It is the last surviving member of its flock. And the weight continues to push downward to where the black sea awaits.

We've plundered our world's resources, pierced its core and released the bile within. It rose to the surface, its tentacles reaching for our shores, choking the life of every living soul in its path. A mass of slimy filth, polluting our ecosystem, turning our once green waters to mud. And all for a population bent on moving faster, on keeping our food colder, and our water warmer.

The Gulf lies in ruin. A sea of tar. Waves of poison splashing ashore and tainting our sands to a gelatinous ooze. The underbelly of our planet's core. A multitude of seaborne bodies floating atop an ocean dying, its curse spreading further with the current.

And unnoticed to anyone but the dead or dying, a once majestic bird, now nothing more than hollow bones wrapped in soot, releases a final screech before plummeting from the skies to its floating grave below. Swallowed up by the poisons set free by those held in charge of sustaining our planet.



Roland D. Yeomans said...

That Man seems intent on destroying himself is bad enough, but he seems hellbent on taking as much of Nature's creatures with him at the same time! Sad. Great post worthy of an echo. Roland

Jemi Fraser said...

Heartbreaking. Hard to believe it's been 3 years. Those images are so vivid and sad. We have to do a whole lot better job of protecting our planet and taking care of all its in habitants.

Donna Hole said...

A sad tale indeed. I don't believe that humans are the bacteria on Earth the environmentalists proclaim, but I do believe sometimes we can be more careful in our daily lives.


Nicki Elson said...

Oh man - as if the story wasn't wrenching enough, then you include that picture. So sad and scary.

Nicki Elson said...

P.S. I tagged you in an award thingy at my blog. :)

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Roland, it's a concern that fails to garner the kind of attention needed for anything to be done about it. Troubling indeed. Thanks for stopping by ;)

Hey Jemi, it's definitely a troubling time we live in. Thanks for the shout out on the "Tweeter!"

Hey Donna, being more careful would be a step in the right direction. It's a major concern for this beach bum ;)

Hey Nicki, it's a gripping pic, and a reminder of the monsters we can be, if not careful.

Thanks for the tag, I'm hopping over!


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Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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