Poems of the Week

Thickly Crusted

by Julia Griffin

“With blackest moss the flower-plots
Were thickly crusted one and all”
—Tennyson, “Mariana in the Moated Grange”

“Man makes deepest-ever dive in Mariana Trench and discovers … litter”
—The Guardian

Within the Mariana Trench
Minute crustaceans flitter,
And maybe some spelunking tench
Will wave to our transmitter—

We thought. But now we find (a wrench
So wretched and so bitter!)
There’s trash beneath the ocean’s drench
To make a demon titter.

The divers’ teeth are all a-clench:
There’s crud in every critter;
The very corals seem to blench.
Who is the benefiter?

The judge is sleeping on the bench;
The President’s on Twitter,
As Mariana’s Moated Trench
Explodes with loathsome litter.