Del "Abe" Jones
It's another world, one that few have seen,
At times wild and brutal, at times so serene.
A place where life abounds in every shape and size,
Where miracles seem to happen right before our eyes.
A garden paradise with "flowers" that can walk
There's even some creatures that know how to talk,
Also some animals not seen by the eye
And fabulous fishes that know how to fly.
It has its own mountains and rivers down below
Still hiding some secrets that we may never know.
For millions of years it's cared for its own
And would for millions more if it were left alone.
But man pollutes its waters and dumps his garbage there,
Spills oil on its surface and doesn't seem to care
That oceanic fisheries have collapsed in many places,
Because of overfishing and the lack of protected spaces.
So man destroys marine life all because of greed,
And treats the sea as if it were something we don't need.
If this persists those fish stories told from shore to shore
May someday be nothing more than part of our folklore.
about this poem
The last two lines of this poem may seem like an exaggeration, but
they are already coming true.
Because many oceanic fisheries around the world have collapsed from overfishing, almost all species of commercially caught fishes
and invertebrates are now in trouble
and do not occur in the great numbers reported by fishermen in the past.
International treaties are needed to set up protected marine reserves in
some areas so
that high-yield commercial fishing can be made sustainable.
The "flowers" that can walk (line 5) are
not really plants but colorful sea slugs. The "creatures that know how to
talk" (line 6) are cetaceans (whales and dolphins).
The author of this poem, Del "Abe"
Jones, is a former soldier of the United States Air Force who has written
many poems expressing love for his country, the
environment, democracy, justice and freedom. An earlier version of this poem was published in Jones' book The World, War, Freedom and More and is
here reproduced with permission.
The photograph at the top of the page was
taken by Enbrut Dani of Barcelona, Spain, and shows a hawksbill turtle in a
coral reef community.