New Nuclear Madness
by Cat Watling
Why bother to write anti-nuclear verse?
Why conjure with words
to state the bloody obvious?
Whether the rhyme is gentle and fluffy,
or ranting and angry,
we know the truth already, don’t we?
And why fight and campaign?
Did the suits ever listen to folks like us
cos we wrote, or petitioned,
or gathered, or marched?
Well, now is the hour
for the wake-up call in the corridors of power:
time to open closed ears and open closed minds,
time to shout with one voice
until they take notice of the word - NO!
Time to fight and write and recite
against new nuclear madness.
When I was a kid,
a girl in my class
thought she’d grab some attention,
and asked anyone who’d listen,
“Did you know there’s a bomb
that can kill thousands in a second?”
I didn’t know.
But that moment’s a memory still on replay,
cos suddenly even a child’s world was no longer safe.
OK, so they’re not going to make warheads at Hinkley,
no weapon to drop on some enemy.
The boffins in white are going one better -
creating a time-bomb
to hold us Brits to ransom.
They’re giving us, not one,
but two shiny new reactors
on Avalon’s sunset horizon.
“Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest……”
Keep going with your crazy plan, EDF,
and we’ll have a whole stash of toxic treasure
buried on this island.
X marks the spot
for the next million years -
a hidden hoard of radioactivity
seeping slowly from captivity,
creeping into the bones of your ancestors,
and of your descendants.
Look west from the Tor
and you’ll see it - stark, solitary -
the concrete castle
of 21st century Uranian alchemy,
where they’re raising a power
that conforms to their will,
so they tell us.
“It’s under control,
we’ve got it sussed,
And so much quicker and cheaper
than harnessing awkward things like wind and water.”
The white-coated sorcerers smile
behind their protective masks, and declare,
“Don’t waste our time splitting hairs,
we’re too busy splitting atoms!”
But if this beast overcomes its masters,
breaks free in a blaze of its own glory,
mutating the living in rapacious ecstasy,
defecating into the sea-
we’d have a Wasteland
that couldn’t be healed
by compassion, or by asking the redeeming question.
Across the marshes and moors
Avalon’s shining Castle of Glass
faces Hinkley’s concrete fortress,
with its warband of bureaucrats and fatcats and eggheads,
set to hold and expand their territory,
wielding weapons of lies and complacency.
But if they win in this fight, they are losers,
who poison their own victory feast.
Avalon’s peaceful warriors,
now is the hour for your wake-up call -
time to take up the Chalice from under the hill,
and pass it across the divide.
To offer the cup of true perception,
that mends the severed connection
between soul and flesh, man and earth.
Now is the hour to shout with one voice,
Let freedom from fear be our gift
to the next generation.”
Copyright © H. Catherine Watling