Treasure Island

Erika Horn


For 'We Are The Children Of The Atomic Age'


I.

For we are the children of the Atomic Age
Before our birth our genes were coded and spliced
Yet the earth, the earth, is beautiful
For fallout the wind brings that we cannot see
For nuclear power plants and missiles mapping our trails

Yet the earth is so beautiful
For the deception of powerful men we pay and pay
For their so strange illusion of boundless power
Yet the earth, the earth is so beautiful
for bald eagles and other endangered species
for the tragic magnificence of all the doomed

Yet the earth is beautiful everywhere
For people born today who will not live too long
For the medical profession which has no enduring cure
Yet the earth is beautiful still beautiful
For how we turn to flora and fauna for healing and love
for how those men's vision wins out over the earth

Yet the earth is still beautiful
How we dream again of her green vegetative hair
How they dream of an abstract ghostly heaven
Yet the earth, the earth, is beautiful
For our irradiated food and pesticide-drenched crops
For our vast indulgences that led to these disasters

Yet the earth is still beautiful
For foolish men's dreams of escaping to the stars
For their deadly machinery and all its effects
Yet the earth, the earth, is beautiful everywhere
for how the polar caps are really melting
for our prophecies of falling into the sea
Yet the earth, the earth and sea, are beautiful

For the thousands of species that have already died
For us who would like to survive-
For the earth / sea / sky are beautiful, so beautiful

II.

For how nature's subtle patterns resemble one another
How fireflies mirror the distant stars
And Hindu palaces look like children's sandcastles
And the sea contains butterfly patterned fish

For how black bats spread darkness with their caped wings
And light and shadow coruscate in a dance
For how shadows sew the living and dead together
And spirals connect us-fetuses, snails, corpses-
in the world's coiled womb

For how the willow's slender leaves dropp like tears
And foxgloves, little delicate bells of dawn,
sway to the gong of the wind
For how mountains are molded like breasts
And cowparsnip umbels delicate as grandma's white lace
And coleuses might have been daubed by artists' brushes

For how bird of paradise have beaks sharp as feathered birds'
And hummingbirds, fishes, frogs and stars share in the
world's iridescent luminescence

And for how the trees' leaves are their mantle of hair
That they shed and grow, grow and shed and shed and grow again
And for how cat, zebra, raccoon and tiger lily
Are marked by the same winddriven eternal fingers

For how our eyes sparkle like jewels, illuminating darkness-
Brown for the earth, blue for the sky, green for the sea
And for how our bodies contain arteries of water
Like the earth its net of oceans, lakes and rivers-
Its profusion of life sustaining blood

For how the sun rises each morning on its own legs
And disappears each night into a mesh of crimson darkness
And for how the moon trails the sea after it
Like a bride a billowing wedding train

For how fresh snow is like froth of foam capped waves
And for the rainbow painting arches in the sky
And for how we are here today in the flesh
And for how soon there may be few left like us

For we-we are the children-of the Atomic Age
For all this and for the earth, the earth,
Which is beautiful, still beautiful everywhere we go

Submitted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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