by Bea Garth
copyright May, 2011

"Waiting" watercolor scene of Japan, by Erik Kaye, copyright 2011

I just can’t deal with it. It is too much:
feeling in my bones the cover-up of nuclear radiation
spreading through the Northern Hemisphere,
the continuing spewing of the reactors in Fukishima, Japan.
Nothing upon nothing does not make it go away. Old news is no news, eh?
My friend is horse from some cold — my friend who never gets colds —
I hear doctors are wondering what is going on, so many people
are getting pneumonia, like after Chernobyl, like what I got
as an infant after the full release of radiation
from the Hanford nuclear reactor’s “Green Run” experiment on the local population that ran awry  from unexpected wind gusts
that  spread radiation to three states
back in December 1949  when my family lived just thirty miles away.
Now here it is a warm, relatively dry, mild spring in late May 2011
in the San Francisco Bay Area and  I hear almost Everyone is getting sick:
Another friend got “food poisoning” from bottled water
Tell me about it. Same day I got sick from some soup
I made using collard greens and my boyfriend got sick too
from the “air” at work. No connection there, right?
The release of iodine 131 just spiked. It rained lightly as I recall.
Who knows about the cesium and strontium and the rest.
No biggy, except you won’t see it on the news
except for specialty radiation monitoring news you have to really search for.
Maybe the news blackout is right: say nothing, and there is nothing
since nothing can be done except stop drinking milk,
eat vegetables from South America, stop eating Pacific fish,
and remember to not take walks in the rain.
For your “cold” take baking soda, apple pectin or chlorella 
or plenty of (old) dandelion root tea 
and  baths with Epsom salts or again, baking soda.
Be sure too to  take your calcium/mag/zinc pills and N.A.C.
and avoid newly collected sea salt and recently made cheese.
But who tells you that? Not the E.P.A. that is for sure. Instead they just raised
the limit by a thousand percent on how much radiation you can safely receive.
I feel so much better knowing that, don’t you? 
My friends in Funabashi, Japan make jokes about glowing in the dark
and remark about seeing distorted, multi-headed carrots being tossed out
from a field on a bike ride in the country they took last weekend.
We may all just have to laugh it off with a shrug: The  Before and now the After.
Since Japan does not know what to do: All those reactors at Fukishima
still steaming, melting, contaminating the air and  ocean
now well over two months. Its old news. It makes me crazy.
All I can do is live my life and pretend, like our dear politicians and news media,
that it is not really happening — except for one thing:
No more new nuclear reactors,
Mr. Obama, Mr. and Mrs. General Electric America
not here, not anywhere anymore.  And those old ones? They gotta go too.
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Categories: poem by Bea Garth

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