Thursday, 16 April 2015

N is for Nicholson and Newman

Wiki commons
The photo today shows the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, which was notorious during the anti-nuclear movement when I was a teenager (very probably before that too). The site encompasses the original nuclear reactor and had previously been know as Windscale, renamed by the government to try and hide its horrible history. Having been promised energy that would be too cheap to meter, we are left with a huge pile of crap, over twenty years in the clean-up and not due to be complete for more than another twenty. After that little history lesson I give you this by Norman Nicholson, who unsurprisingly comes from Cumbria. 

Windscale

The toadstool towers infest the shore:
Stink-horns that propagate and spore
          Wherever the wind blows.
Scafell looks down from the bracken band,
And sees hell in a grain of sand,
          And feels the canker itch between his toes.

This is a land where dirt is clean,
And poison pasture, quick and green,
          And storm sky, bright and bare;
Where sewers flow with milk, and meat
Is carved up for the fire to eat,
          And children suffocate in God's fresh air.

Today's other offering is taken again from The Virago Book of Love Poetry and is by Lesle√° Newman.

Possibly

to wake and find you sitting up in bed
with your black hair and golden skin
leaning against the white wall
a perfect slant of sunlight slashed
across your chest as if God
were Rembrandt or maybe Ingmar Bergman
but luckily it's too early to go to the movies
and all the museums are closed on Tuesday
anyway I'd rather be here with you
than in New York or possibly Amsterdam
with our eyes and lips and legs and bellies
and the sun as big as a house in the sky
and five minutes left before the world begins

(Linking back to the A to Z Challenge)

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