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Passed a weary time

In what manner could I ever come back to the place that gave me birth?

By Raymond G. TaylorPublished 19 days ago Updated 19 days ago 3 min read
Dall-E-3 image generated by author

Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.

It is an ancient mariner, I. For down into the sea I went. Through no choice of my own, I came to be abandoned, misplaced, left alone on a bench. The good south wind did blow behind and, lifting me in its arms, tossed me first onto the ground, then skipping and jumping to the Bankside. Leaping above the flood wall, I came down into the fretting flow and began my voyage in earnest.

Through valley, past city and hills and busy anchorage, I was carried leaping and bounding. And as the Sun shone bright, upon my right, I went down, down into the sea.

Wide horizons became my view though surf and tempest often obscured it.

And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he

Was tyrannous and strong:

He struck with his o'ertaking wings,

And chased us south along.

Moving, constantly moving. Up and down, left and right, above and below the ever-restless waves, I would wend my way with current, tide and wind. Turning and upending and yet constantly spinning. Had I felt the effects of temperature, I would have noticed it get warmer. Then, when the spinning stopped for a moment, it began the opposite way around.

At the same time the brief warmth departed and colder and colder it grew, darker were the days and longer the nights until finally there was hardly any warmth left and the daylight was but momentary. Around and around I went with giant white monsters looming up above me, pretending to be solid earth but I knew them for what they were. Fellow travellers, though as I watched and awaited the ocean's pleasure, I observed the monstrousness of the monsters diminish. Smaller and smaller they shrank, ice become water, until at last they were one with the watery wasteland that bore me over its surface.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts

Did send a dismal sheen:

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—

The ice was all between.

Time passed weary as I was beat and blustered by my bearer. It matters not to one like me who has no soul to suffer, you will say. But who are you to judge me soul-less, when here in evidence I feel the abandonment that is mine?

Though tears I have not, nor discomfiture of searing heat, crushing cold or blinding wind and rain, I have feelings within and all the while feel souls about me. Many are the number beneath and one or two swooping from time to time above.

One such airborne soul I feel call out to me:

God save thee, ancient Mariner!

From the fiends, that plague thee thus.

Then gone the spirit is, as if it had never been.

No sleep, no wake, to bless me here in my watery eternity. No rest, no end, no return to home. Forever am I cursed, ancient mariner of ocean deep.

~ O ~ 0 ~ o ~

~ O ~ 0 ~ o ~

And thus it began...

~ O ~ 0 ~ o ~

The moral of the story: please, please, please dispose of plastic waste responsibly. In particular, please don't leave it lying around anywhere near water or put it in trash destined for landfill. It will end up in the ocean where it will do lots of damage

~ O ~ 0 ~ o ~

If you visit a beach, riverbank or other waterway,

please pick up at least once piece of plastic waste

and dispose of it properly. You should of course dispose of your own trash, or take it home. If everyone did this there would be billions fewer items of plastic waste, that would otherwise find their way into the ocean, every day.

What I’m talking about…

Beach at Bankside looking across at City of London. Photo RGT

~ O ~ 0 ~ o ~

With due reference to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Extracts from this work are quoted verbatim as shown, and elsewhere as adapted and incorporated into the narrative.

~ O ~ 0 ~ o ~

Thanks for reading

SatireShort StoryFable

About the Creator

Raymond G. Taylor

Author based in Kent, England. A writer of fictional short stories in a wide range of genres, he has been a non-fiction writer since the 1980s. Non-fiction subjects include art, history, technology, business, law, and the human condition.

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Comments (7)

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  • Shirley Belk14 days ago

    You did such a great job with this...on many levels! If it hadn't been about plastic and recycling, then I could say that I thoroughly related to the abandoned soul, at, aging, and adult children who sometimes think of me as soul-less. LOVED it!!!

  • Gigi Gibson17 days ago

    A lovely rhythm in this piece Ray… and the message invaluable.

  • "But who are you to judge me soul-less, when here in evidence I feel the abandonment that is mine?" These line hit me so hard and made me so emotional! I loved your story and your message. If only people were more responsible with how they dispose things, especially plastic, the world would be a better place!

  • Mark Graham19 days ago

    In the words of Woodsey Owl -- Give a Hoot Don't Pollute! This one gives us all something to think about and do.

  • John Cox19 days ago

    You have written a brilliant moral fable atop the waves of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, Ray. The musicality and lyricism of your own writing blended beautifully with the original. Really fine writing!

  • Daphsam19 days ago

    Wonderfully written!

  • KJ Aartila19 days ago

    Yes! Please, please! Very nicely done. :)

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