The rime of the ancient fisherman I met outside some nightclub.

I wrote this in response to the recent article that has been hopping from publication to publication about the state of the pacific.  I would like to thank Samuel Taylor Coleridge for his help in writing the piece.



An unemployed old fisherman

Shouted at my friends, and he

Demanded that I listen

I said, “I’ve no time for thee.”


“The party in here’s started now

And I’m the planner’s boyfriend

I cannot stop to talk to you

I have no time to lend.”



He grabbed me as I tried to pass

and began to tell a tale of woe

I shouted “Let me go you ass”

But he said that I must know.


So it was he began to speak,

And I listened to his words.

He told me of the dying seas

And of the missing birds


I took a seat upon a bench

And he made me hear

I forgot about my waiting wench,

As he passed to me his fear.


His ship had sailed into the sea

to bring home food and money.

They didn’t know what they would see,

that would be so unfunny.


The Sun soared over every day

And went down every night,

As the fishermen went on their way

Towards their awful fright.


The fisherman continued on

With telling me this detail

But then I heard my favourite song

I wondered if I could bail.


My girlfriend was inside the club

I shouldn’t be sat out here

She’d think I was sat in a pub

And drinking too much beer.


I told him that I had to go

he said I had to hear

I tried to tell him, “come on. No”

But he gave me a sneer.


“Your type are all the same” he said.

“You just don’t ever care.

What will you do when you are dead?

when the world turns to nightmare.


We headed out into the ocean

But our prey remained unfound.

We heard the sounds of our boats motion

But otherwise, no sound.


We waited and we searched the sky,

there was no single bird

There was no sight of things that fly

Of this I give my word.


The cause for the birds going away

Was not below the waves

The fish weren’t there, we’d lost our prey

The fish, we had not saved.


It was only tuna that we sought

When we had fished these seas.

That was the fish our client bought

It was them we tried to please.


The other fish we’d thrown back

It fetched a lower price

If we didn’t we’d all get the sack

I wish that we’d thought twice


The birds would eat those rotting fish

So we didn’t feel so bad

But now there were no fish to eat

As so few became dads.


The good old days, they couldn’t last

I wish we’d thought ahead

They were firmly in the past

Now all the fish were dead.


We sailed on in search of fish,

or anything to eat.

We had to eat as well you see,

but we’d brought little meat.


The ocean seemed more silent

The further we progressed

This is the fault of human kind

Our captain soon confessed.



A few days out we came across

A sight that was much worse.

If the ocean was a person

It would have been inside a hearse.


We thought at first we had found land

But that just shouldn’t be

Such a thing we had not planned

For at least two weeks, or three


Ahead of us was an awful sight

Compounding all I’d seen.

It gave to me a greater fright

Than anywhere I’d been.


In the ocean, all around us

Miles and miles of junk.

Rubbish of the world had found us

My heart inside me sunk.


I stood and looked for open sea

that must beyond this lay

I told the crew “this cannot be”

My heart filled with dismay.


It felt as though we were on land

As through the junk we sailed.

A nation totally unmanned

A mark mankind had failed.


Old drinks cans and plastic boxes

Were all the vermin near.

The usual landbased rats and foxes

couldn’t survive here.


At last we could all hear some sounds

We wished that we could not

It was our ship’s bow hitting mounds

Of rubbish in the flot.


Day after day, day after day,

We carried on seeking our quarry.

To the captain I did say,

I think mankind should worry.


Rubbish, rubbish, everywhere,

This was where it came.

Rubbish, rubbish, every where,

Such an awful shame.


The very deep did rot: O Christ!

That ever this should be!

Not even slimy things would crawl

Nothing alive to see.


Was this a sign there was no God

He’d never stand for this.

What had he against plaice and cod

This really took the piss.


For days our journey carried on

At night sleep had no mirth.

We had nightmares of a dying sun

Above this dying earth.


The barren sea gave up no fish.

Soon nothing filled our plate.

We didn’t try for food to wish,

Rather mankind we did hate.


Depression started to take hold

The crew knew we had caused this;

The ocean’s life was what we sold

Now life, the ocean missed.



There passed for us a weary time.

We quickly gave up hoping,

From such hideous depths could the world’s health climb?

It certainly wasn’t coping.


It was not long before the stress

Affected all the crew.

All we could see was this godless mess

We all wished wasn’t true.


Our ship’s cook was the first to go

Without food he had less to do

He must have stepped into the flow

It was some time before we knew


The worst thing was, he was not gone.

He came to us at night

Upon the deck his spectre shone

A gruesome bloated sight



Floating in this lifeless waste

This awful sight did tell

The crewmen how their chosen life

Would lead them all to hell.


The next day we lost another;

His poor mind could not take it.

He had felt for years much like a brother,

I hoped the rest of us would make it.


One by one the crew gave in

Now they knew the ocean’s state.

Earning their living, their only sin,

But they’d seen for themselves the world’s fate.


Eventually I was alone;

Our ship seemed now forlorn.

I knew I must try and get home;

The public I should warn.


The ship was hard to sail alone,

And lonesome was my trip.

From gathered rubbish I built a throne

And became King of the ship.


At nights the dead crew and I danced

It took my mind from my hunger.

As days passed by I felt in a trance

I couldn’t last much longer.


I soon came up with a decent plan

I could get home quicker, I just had to fly!

It’s true I was only a hungry man

But if nothing else, I had to try.


Given my weight and lack of wings

I climbed the mast to begin my flight

I thought that’ll lend balance against these things

From the top I saw a wondrous sight.


Off in the distance there was a sail

I needn’t fly, there was a ship

In getting home I wouldn’t fail

There was help ahead to finish my trip.”





“You’ve gone nuts”, I told the bloke.

“I have to go inside,

You as a flying king’s a joke”

I stopped his tale mid stride.


“I haven’t time to talk to freaks

With theories of doom”;-



“I’ll admit my mind grew weak

But now I am no loon.”


Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide wide sea!

My saviours in my rescue ship

Brought me back to sanity.


My crew were dead

That is no lie

But somewhere ocean life survives;

Lives on and so do I.


I looked upon the floating junk

And drew my eyes away;

I had to come back to the world

And tell you what I say.


I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;

But God won’t come to save us

Nature happens as it may

If God won’t save us mankind must.


That ship, it brought me back to land

Since then I’ve tried to speak.

But all that people listen to

Is what’s on ‘Mock the Week’.


Like you!  You’re thinking of that club,

And your girl you haven’t seen

Since last night down the local pub,

But what does such life mean?


One day the two of you might bring

A child onto this planet

I’m sure you’d want the best for him,

I know that’s how I’d plan it.


Mark my words this won’t all last

With mankind’s help the world won’t die;

But at this time it’s failing fast;

It’s not too late; we have to try.


The problem is our ignorance

We’re blind to half the problem.

You go out to drink and dance

And that’s why you don’t stop them.


There is no need for all this harm;

There are solutions we can find.

The problem is that money’s charm,

Is overwhelming for weak minds.


The greed of those who take our cash

Is their only motivation.

Where there’s no profit they make ash

of the world, by automation.


I beg of you to change their ways.

You only have one voice,

But together we’re the ones who pay

them.  Leave them with no choice!


He payeth best, who knows the worth

All things both great and small;

For the things we do not value

Soon won’t be there at all.


The Fisherman, who’d kept me here

Walked off now, just like that.

Deciding that I needed beer

I crossed the clubs door mat.


I went like one that had been stunned,

I was of sense forlorn;

A sadder and a wiser man,

I rose the next day’s morn.


About harrymonmouth

Full of grace and fair regard, a true lover of the holy church. The courses of his youth promised it not but his body has become a paradise enveloping and containing celestial spirits. He has a sudden scholar become after reformation, in a flood, with heady currance scoured his faults and unseated his Hydra-headed wilfulness. Hear him but reason in divinity, and all-admiring with an inward wish you would desire he were made a prelate: Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs, You would say it hath been all in all his study: List his discourse of war, and you shall hear a fearful battle render'd you in music: Turn him to any cause of policy, the Gordian knot of it he will unloose, familiar as his garter: that, when he speaks, the air, a charter'd libertine, is still, and the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears, to steal his sweet and honey'd sentences; so that the art and practic part of life must be the mistress to this theoric: Which is a wonder how he should glean it, since his addiction was to courses vain, his companies unletter'd, rude and shallow, his hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports, and never noted in him any study, any retirement, any sequestration from open haunts and popularity.

Posted on October 22, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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