The story is exactly what it sounds like: a modern retelling of the Coleridge poem. Told by a grizzled old codger to a young screen-eyed stranger in a park, Hayes takes the original eco-fable and updates it, weaving in plastic pollution and the dehumanisation of humanity when disconnected from the natural world. There are vengeful apparitions, oil slicks and raging tsunamis, not to mention the endlessly mounting corpses of the creatures of the ocean.
Hayes’s poetry is lyrical and energetic, alternately summoning laughter, tears, and moments of reflection. But the real magic at play here is the artwork. Reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts, there’s a simplicity to his highly-detailed lines that allows breathing space while demanding fervent attention.
Of course, you won’t be surprised to learn that nobody listens to our modern mariner. His tale is disregarded as the ravings of a mad hobo, and he is left alone on a park bench, listening to the wind and wondering at the strangeness of humanity. – Philip Webb Gregg