…for there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men — Herman Melville
Caldera shape, ebb tide black beach, littered
with sun bleached bones, rusting skeletons
like old furnaces, storage tanks, rise like Moai,
detritus left by men’s fraught pelagic
harpoon slaughter thru Nantucket sleigh rides.
Ignored quotas fueled candlelight for generations,
driving fellow travelers to the brink—
they should decompose on the ocean floor.
So I muse to what we have done
to their hearts larger than our bodies,
stomachs full of the same plastic feeding
drifting gyres made from our voracity.
Man-of-War in their eternal flight brings
a simple answer on shimmering wings.
Robert Breen was born in Boston, Massachusetts. After his decades-long career as a Boston firefighter, he retired, taking his love of writing to the next level by entering graduate school and attending the summer writing program at Harvard University. He is a 2015 winner of the Joy of the Pen competition from the Topsham Public Library, Topsham, Maine, and was awarded the Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award for the poem “Beyond Cold.” Several of his poems were published in the Café Review editions of spring 2018 and fall 2019. His published books are The Shore Digger and Undertow A Tide Pool of Poems. Robert Breen lives in Brunswick, Maine, USA, with his wife, Karen. He maintains a website at Robert Breen "Fire Poet"