Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fukushima Lament by Bob Atkinson

Fukushima Lament
(c)2011 Bob Atkinson

stepping into the street
my footstep bounced a lot
like stepping into jello
both feet began to rock

I stood there not knowing
what the problem was
could I begin to wiggle
or did the earth evolve

into some magic giant
that gave us a big groan
and heaved as if in agony
in spite of being stone

when you'd think it was over
it got so much stronger
giving me the feeling
which I didn't have time to ponder

rocking here and there
it tossed me off my feet
giving to me a big pain
in the middle of my seat

then after many minutes
of an absurd vibration
the grinding stopped at last
I started a meditation


that wasn't any little thing
was the largest one could imagine
a rocking earthquake in my time
no way to explain what happened

then out in the bay
where water came to shore
no water stood where it had been
before the shaking groaned



sirens blazed
an alert for folks
to begin heading
to higher ground

sunami warning was clearly what
the sirens tried to tell
get to higher ground now
or prepare to go to hell

then the wall of water
a hundred feet or more
poured on to the land
beyond what had been shore

it swept away all those things
that had been in its path
buildings tall made of wood
with walls of sparkling glass

cars and trucks and animals
people who had stood
when they should have run
to higher ground
were swept up in the flood

and now the cooling system
of the nuclear machine
couldn't work when generators
drank the muddy sea

down in the generators
powered by the atom
cooling water boiled away
and fuel rods shattered

melting down into a pool
spewing contamination
the rods gave out what could be seen
as deadly radiation

out into the pristine land
and into sea with fish
and over into the stratosphere
flew radiation's kiss

a kiss of death for an old life
in northeastern Japan
the land which had been loved so much
became useless for any man

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