Down Among the Reeds a Plastic Bag

Down among the reeds a plastic bag and polystyrene cup float, bobbing on the wake of some passing cruiser. A gentle motion, almost apologetic. A baby duck nibbles at the cup but finds no flavor there and soon moves on. I did not see the face or watch the careless arm throw out its waste. Can only wonder at the mindless absence of thought which bought this barren litter to this place.

Thus many live their disconnected lives, detached from life around them by some chance I can only wonder at and sigh. Should I have seen them and spoken of my shock what might have happened who can say. A silent blush as they rectify their mistake Perhaps a swear word to put me in my place , or even worse some violence.

It was not personal we can be sure. No harm was done by it, least not today. Though who can guess at how things might unfold. Lost in the world of laughter and some drink, perhaps some kids were strutting their young lives, still unaware how time and life might bruise their careless arrogance. Perhaps some homeless man, celebrating his swift burst of luck. Some drink and half a sandwich in a bag providing him with dinner by the bank. already far from caring for his world

Like many wrongs a small thing on its own. Signifying nothing or a lot. Like tiny bricks that build a monument, these careless moments build an ediface. In time if we keep adding to it’s mass, the weight of it might challenge our own life. Finding a stick I bring it to my hand and walk towards a bin some yards away. Not a great effort in the scheme of things, but made with little joy as I reflect on men who chatter as the world decays.

Development has offered many things. The chance to seek for glory or release. To lie like Romans on a bed of quilts as slaves offer grapes to our sated lips. To rush from now to there, some plan in hand to reach our paradise or peace at least, unmindful of the planet we call home. Each action that we make brings no response, and thus seems free from consequence for now. Perhaps if we don’t show it some respect, the planet we call home might cough and vent its wrath.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in community, creative writing, Environment, Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Down Among the Reeds a Plastic Bag

  1. Caroline says:

    Love your take on this. And we should all remember – the planet will survive – It’s us humans as a species which just might not unless we treat it and each other with more respect.


  2. Sometimes we think we are invincible regardless of what we do…But we also have to remember that nature’s wrath is more powerful and destructible. We have no control over its force and one of these days it will have its reckoning with us. It’s only a matter of time…


  3. backonmyown says:

    This strikes a huge chord in me. I want to get on a soap box and shout in anger and frustration. Your way is so much better, I think. You are soft-spoken, saddened and not accusatory–the opposite of me. I try very hard to do my part for the planet wherever I find myself but at the same time I have to try equally hard not to get strident and crazy about it. Strident and crazy is what I feel.

    This post is a gem. Thanks.


  4. Barbara says:

    Beautifully put Peter. It reminded me of a commercial, public service announcement actually, that ran for years here in the States. A Native American Chief riding his horse along a creek and seeing all the litter and pollution awash on the banks… then the close-up of the tear streaming down his cheek.
    As a child that 30 sec. spot brought tears to my eyes as well. It always made me think before I tossed anything on the street. Maybe we need to bring that back, or have a media company turn this post of yours into a new commercial/ public service announcement that might have the same impact on this generation of children. Sadly, too late for many adults.
    Thanks for a great post!


  5. Big changes happen one person, one act, at a time. You did something monumental by your act of kindness to the earth. May we all do one similar kind thing each day. The earth will breathe easier.


  6. Shonnie says:


    You, as always, stated this so very well. I am struggling to remain polite. I am not what you would call a tree hugger, but to say that litter bugs make upset me is beyond understatement. I just do not understand a disregard for other’s property or disrespect for the earth on which we live. I just want to slap the stew out of folks, so when you talk about violence — it would probably be me whopping the ding bat who threw the trash.

    I am sure I look slightly mad when I grumble and complain as I collect debris of the beach. Just makes me nuts. YOu stated my feelings so much more eloquently. 🙂


  7. eof737 says:

    The planet is coughing plenty already… Shame on the litterer… 😦


  8. Lady E says:

    I like this post very much too, your description of a tiny event hiding a much bigger issue. Carelessness and selfishness are always the easy options, whether you’re talking about interactions with others or the environment. I’m the first to succumb to them on occasions, but on the whole, I try. Thanks for the reminder that the little gestures are worth it. x


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