The Madman at the Helm

Billions of nurdles are swimming in the sea.

What is a nurdle to you or to me?

It’s a little white ball of industrial plastic,

a polystyrene nuisance that escapes into rivers

and makes its tiny way to the ocean

or the pristine beaches of some distant

Hawaiian island or the stomach of an albatross

or the belly of a whale like a Lilliputian Jonah

on a mission to cause cancer or a species

that’s determined to take everybody with it

on its suicidal progress towards the vortex

of the whale’s tail as our godforsaken captain

stands erect in his own whaleboat and gets ready

to unleash his mad nuclear harpoon

and the world is cheering Ahab, who is 

taller than a mountain, and whose veins

run red with old rage as he breathes to keep

reliving what the lone whale did to his pride

when he ripped adrift his right leg and the ivory

reminder that supports him as he clenches

his white teeth insists that vengeance

is the only means to justice even though it means

destroying the whole planet in the process

but when you’re the one who’s leading

all the sailors into danger you’re too caught up

in your mad daydream and you think that you’re

the hero to resist what you are doing

so you set upon your foe’s back, never realizing

the evil that’s a seed that you’ve created,

and a weed that you could uproot if you simply

dropped your harpoon and gave up on your

obsession but instead you block the signal

and proceed further to madden

the infuriated creature, understanding

when it’s too late that revenge

can only backfire, and the target of your hatred

is a spot behind your eyeballs

hidden deep inside your great brain

like the molten iron core

of the spinning swimming Earth

that revolves like a lost nurdle

in the universal ocean.


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