Topic: Oily Shells by Joan McWhannell

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During the Rena Disaster (2011 & 2012) several people wrote poetry and articles which were submitted to the Tauranga Memories kete Rena – NZ’s Biggest Ecological Disaster. This was a way of the community expressing their thoughts and feelings about the event.

Apologies to Pearly Shells.

Oily shells on our beaches,
Melting in the sunlight, littered on the shore.
When I see them, my heart bleeds for yesterday –
And for when they shone their pearly shades.
For all the vibrant shades we knew before –
Come now in grey or black,
With summer days not far away at all,
We want our beaches back.
Oily birds from the ocean,
Fighting for their lives, to make it to the shore,
Some will sadly, never see their homes again,
And those that do will feel the pain.
For every penguin in ‘enviro-care’,
We’ve twenty on the sands,
They are our ‘boiler suited volunteers’
Kneeling – sifting sand.
Containers sunk in our waters,
Bobbing on the waves, or shattering on our shore,
And our ‘salvors’ are our saviours pumping oil,
Just to save our shore from further spoil.
So many thanks we give, to those that gave,
Their time at so much cost,
To save our fish and birds and beaches, from
Becoming ever lost.

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Oily Shells by Joan McWhannell