The Water Doesn’t Know

Fishermen
I wrote this poem on March 11,  2011, the day of the terrible tsunami in Japan that damaged the Daichi nuclear facility in Fukushima. Despite what we are not hearing in the media, the plant is now spewing out much more deadly radiation into the Pacific Ocean than at the time of the accident. We are all connected by the oceans. This is a global disaster, and a legacy that we are all living right now.
 

The water doesn’t know

why it has been beckoned to swell and rise,

rear up high and crash, carrying destruction in its surge,

destitution in its wake.

The uranium atoms don’t know

why they have been pressured unbearably

to split and heat and vaporize the water,

yet they split; they have no choice.

The people don’t know

why the magma of the earth sighs, groans, and shakes as if in troubled sleep

to beckon and push

the water.

Nor do the people know,

in their newfound respect for the magma and the water,

why they were once so sure that they did know

how to tame an atom

that they made wild.

The people on the other side of the ocean don’t know

that the atoms, bleeding radiation, are even now crossing the water

to visit their shores, their rivers, their drinking glasses.

Do they?

“ The World Health Organization stated that a 2013 thyroid ultrasound screening programme … found that more than a third (36%) of children in the [Fukushima] Prefecture have abnormal growths in their thyroid glands …”
(Wikipedia: Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster)

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