I wrote this poem from a prompt asking to take inspiration from a ‘Today I Learned’ post on Reddit. In my case the fact was ‘That since the 1960s, the Aral Sea, formerly the largest lake in the world, has been drying up, leaving hundreds of fishing boats rusting in the desert. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160915-the-aralkum-deserts-ghostly-fishing-fleet).’
However, the North Aral Sea has been revived in part using a dam and some fish species have started to come back. It is still one of the worst environmental catastrophes and collapse of an environmental ecosystem in history – the sea continues to shrink.
Here is a line of barbed wire,
and in the near distance,
a hulking trawler beached on terracotta sand.
Once there was a lake, shoaled with fish,
a town of fishermen, sailors and engineers,
happy chefs with their catch of the day.
Now ghosts haunt the wind, the sand
whistles through metal, ochre sunset
on sepia rust, dry orange grass, empty windows.
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