The Crime of the Absent Mariner

By Dominic O’Sullivan

This is the year of not.
The Puritan year.
This is the year the pub went quiet,
The theatre dark.
Outside the actress weeps.

This is the year they shot the Albatross,
Only no one owned up.
It’s uncool to do so.
So full steam ahead!
In the year of the nots;
Batten down the hatches!
No one knows where we’re going.

Dominic: I’m a writer of short stories, plays and poems. Some of my plays and monologues have been performed in Cambridge, Ely, London and Norwich.

My brother read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge to me when I was a kid. I liked it. The poem I wrote is playing around with Coleridge’s title. The theme is the same, the violation of nature but, unlike Coleridge’s poem the topic of guilt is not yet addressed. I gardened on the allotment for much of lockdown, admired the buzzards and kites that flew by, enjoyed the increased volume of birdsong.

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