(04 October 1943 / Germany)

A Bomb

Dawn in the valley.
A chilling fear now rises
like an emotional, ominous cloud.
It soon disperses in the mist,
a lonely crow still flaps its wings
in stark defiance of the odd
and unwelcome turbulence.
Grasshoppers and locusts,
mixed in weird meleé
darken skies, their plaintiff hum,
heard through the region
and making every living creature
take notice, reluctantly. But now.
Blinded rabbits and field mice,
staggering between the pockmarks
created by the fallout and the pieces
of hot, still melting steel and fuel,
crying in heart-break and empty despair.
A field of corn stalks, once proud, erect,
now toppled over and covered by
a veritable ocean of dead fishes, from the sea
miles away, but boiling, foaming
in anger, no surf but rising now, tsunami
how likely? in the making, here the water,
that once tame blue green sea of tranquility
where it goes it boils and soon destroys, death,
once unthinkable except in natural order,
ordained and unaccepted, it is everywhere.
Now, that the bomb has come, feared
and always imagined, false dream hoped for,
but for others, in far away places, killings
in the fields of infidels, the murderers
and fornicators, same sex marriages,
premarital defiance and godlessness,
it must be, how could it not be, the end
already memory is fading of what still lingers,
it is the quick and so inevitable unravelling,
though much too slow, if death must come
so be it but with mercy to the innocent,
who, in a lifetime of believing and worshipping,
have earned some points that surely qualify
I do not see the sores, blasted through DNA
and oozing yellow pus that glows, from limbs
once used to pray and work the land, in honour
and obedience to God, with Jesus as his son
who sacrificed himself for us, to what avail?
So is this eli, eli lama asaftani, or did they lie
inside the scriptures, those legends of the past?
Yes, Mr. Oppenheimer, and company, thank you,
for being you and looking out for all those things
that were not living, had no soul and brought you joy
was splitting hairs not nearly satisfying,
that priceless atoms had to serve for your strange dreams?
I see it fading now, the print from this computer,
and heat has come at last, to sweep us with the dust
into forgetfulness and purple raven nights
I say good-bye to you and will you understand?

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Comments (5)

We do not realize until it is to late. Very frightening poem but all too real. KK
If death must come so be it, but with mercy to the innocent, I could not agree more.Long life and happiness to you Herbert.As we walk through life I often feel that It should have been done slower so as to savour precious moments and reduce our fatal mistakes.love Duncan
I agree, A terrific ending to an intelligent and thought provoking poem. xx
What a terrific ending! I see it fading now, the print from this computer, and heat has come at last, to sweep us with the dust into forgetfulness and purple raven nights I say good-bye to you and will you understand? Linda
Powerful poem....peolpe do not realize what they creat till it's too late. Great write!