Counting on change – A poem by Renee Flis

‘Counting on change’
A poem by Renee Flis, Chilli Beach Volunteer, August 2020

A call to arms and we join the fight
gather our weapons and do what’s right
gloves! bags! water! sunscreen!
hurry up now!, we’ve got a beach to clean!

It feels like folly
running this race we can’t win
ignorance is bliss
after it’s gone in the bin

But here comes a hero!
it’s Tangaroa Blue!
on a mission to make change for me and for you!

Collect those weather balloons & lollipop sticks
but careful out there, those syringes can be little pricks!

You’ll find thongs & bottles & toys & pegs
rope & glass & tyres & dolls legs!
cans & clips & fasteners & packets
lures & lines, did we find tennis rackets?!

Now count my pretties! and separate and sort!
and don’t you forget those categories you were taught!
soft plastics, hard plastics, bottles & toys
household & cleaning & fishing & buoys!

Collecting the rubbish is just part of the plan
it’s the data we need to stick it to the man
data oh data you beautiful beast!
tonight on numbers & statistics we feast!

Now take this treasure trove of numbers & proof
and shove it in the face of those who remain so aloof
numbers to rally the powers that be
to make real changes to protect the sea
changes that will echo from now till forever

Tangaroa Blue, a legendary endeavour
we salute you for your cause and persistence
and thank you from our hearts for your very existence
please continue to teach & encourage & fight
we’re all behind you in this inspiring plight

You are a teacher, a beacon, a saviour for the ocean
and for this you have our hearts and devotion

Renee picking up marine debris from the shores of Chilli Beach, August 2020

Published by