Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Gene Barry writes

For Pasha near Chernobyl 1999

No one has seen the walls
that hover around you,
shields that only land
occasionally in polluted
fields of adulthood,
birthed by deaf ears and
confused and troubled as
your country’s barriers.
Your birth year blew 
you a second violation,
a shock to torture your
family now summoned to
live a querulous-free life.   

Is there a poet of gratitude
lurking in your twisted frame
burying volumes of antiquity;
those beasts that
bite you after binding. 
Is there an Olympian caged
within, breaking ribbon after
ribbon. A podium tenant
riding heroic cantatas.
A screamer without an
audience. Are your trips
as grey as a funeral
procession or as pleasing
as a lap of honour.
Chernobyl Painting - Chernobyl by Raul Gubert
Chernobyl -- Raul Gubert

1 comment:

  1. The Chernobyl disaster of 25–26 April 1986, a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, was the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties. It occurred during a late-night safety test at the No. 4 reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the now-abandoned town of Pripyat in northern Ukraine. The test simulated a station blackout power-failure, during which both emergency safety and power-regulating systems were intentionally turned off. An uncontrolled reaction resulted from inherent reactor design flaws and reactor operators arranging the core in a manner contrary to the checklist for the test. Steam generated a destructive explosion and a subsequent open-air graphite fire which produced heat was so intense that it melted firefighters' boots and was not contained until 4 May. The fire lofted plumes of fission products into the atmosphere which precipitated onto much of Europe. During the accident, steam-blast effects caused 2 deaths within the facility, but 134 others were hospitalized with acute radiation syndrome, of whom 28 soon died and another 14 died of cancer within the next decade. Due to fear that the reactor could re-enter a self-sustaining nuclear chain-reaction and explode again, a new containment structure was planned to prevent rain from triggering such an explosion and to prevent further release of radioactive material; this was the largest civil engineering task ever, involving 1/4 million construction workers. By December the remains of the No. 4 reactor building were enclosed in an "Object Shelter" dubbed the sarcophagus. Another 1/2 million decontamination workers ("liquidators") spent 7 months cleaning up the debris. 28 liquidators died from acute radiation syndrome, including beta burns, and 15 more died from thyroid cancer in the aftermath. Of the 5 million people residing in the contaminated areas, 4,000 are expected to die from cancer. The USSR spent 18 billion rubles (US$18 billion) on containment and decontamination, virtually bankrupting itself; this was a key factor in the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. An area with a 30-km radius, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation, was established. Except for 300 residents who refused to leave, it is uninhabited and has largely reverted to wilderness; the area is not expected to be safe for human habitation again for 20,000 years.

    and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.[17]


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