ST. GEORGE slaying the Dragon, facade of the great Munster Cathedral,
beautiful geomantic center of Basel, Switzerland [click photo for next . . . ]
SAINT GEORGE & THE DRAGON—a meditation on subjugating the Earth by force
"I used to believe in scientific truth
until they dropped it on Hiroshima."
This is an image to ponder, to meditate upon. The metaphysics of the violent use of force as means to achieve power and control has been around in Western culture for at least three thousand years. This era of coming to order by force is now rapidly drawing to a close, collapsing all around us, everywhere we look. This is not just the case on the political stage, with its corporate money-fueled corruption and all unnecessary resource wars around the planet needed to fund the corruption; It is also characteristic of our troubled and disharmonious relationship with the Earth herself--but perhaps more insidiously--in the cultural artifacts we create, consume, and mindlessly throw away every day.
What we need to watch out for, and then act swiftly to resolve, is, I think, contradiction. As I've said over and over again, I feel that Nature knows no contradiction, no conflict, no waste. What does this really mean? Why do I say it so often? All three of these last terms need some clarification, I know. But I can't go into them here simply because I wish to focus solely on waste now, and more specifically, highly dangerous, highly radioactive, nuclear waste, whether from bomb production, or from energy generation--it makes no difference, as far as I'm concerned--as a means of setting the stage for the little NEON GRAFFITI piece below.
We all know what waste is, right? The stuff we don't want, the stuff we want out-of-sight-out-of-mind, the stuff we want to get rid of. Well, deadly toxic nuclear waste is far and away the most extreme form of 'waste' known to humankind, and has only been around since the beginning of the Manhattan Project and the first actual test of an atomic bomb. 'The Gadget,' as it was called. Please mark that fatal day in your conscience now: 1945, on July the 16th, at 5:30 in the morning, at a place with an amazingly sinister name--Jornada del Muerto / Day of the Dead. The actual code name of the test, christened by Robert Oppenheimer himself, and also amazingly in its own way as sinister as it was cynical, was the TRINITY TEST, in reference not to the Bible, but to a moving and beautiful sonnet by John Done. [See my poem, TRINITY, below...]
This was the very first implosion bomb, the plutonium for which was produced at the now notoriously contaminated HANFORD. The Gadget, to the surprise of Oppenheimer, Gen. Graves, and many of the other scientists assembled, actually worked. And, since that day, the world has never been the same.
We are still living with the terror unleashed upon the world at that instant. And we are still living with the terror of the mountains of lethal waste--just a microgram of plutonium, for example, if breathed in, is enough to cause lung cancer--left behind in both energy and weapons production.
The d & d neon graffiti poem below focuses in a musical, tragic-comic way, on just two aspects of this runaway insanity: the appallingly disingenuous and deceitful use of language which to this day thoroughly saturates our reporting and thinking on the subject of all things nuclear, whether bombs, or energy.
In my view, both Poetry and Philosophy have the task of at once, proposing the NEW, as well as deconstructing or getting rid of the OLD, the worse than useless. Deadly nuclear waste necessarily needs to be thought of in the clearest, strongest terms, possible. As the talented Danish director, Michael Madson, in his recent documentary, INTO ETERNITY, calls it: "the fire which cannot be put out." That is exactly right. Mark those words: The fire which cannot be put out.
To end here on a personal note, I now find myself working in Northeast Oregon, and around one of the most rugged wilderness areas in the world. As I read about and explore the area on bike and foot, I have to my very great surprise and indignation discovered that the Wallowa, such a beautiful, organically isolated bioregion of the living Earth, are also completely surrounded by toxic nuclear dumps. These are some of the largest so-called 'superfund sites'--a schoolbook example of a devilishly euphemistic use of language if ever there were one-—in the Western Hemisphere. One point of contention I have with Michael Madson, is that nuclear science is most certainly not science in its most advanced form. In my view, it is science at its very worse, not only spiritually and ethically depraved, but also almost deliberately once money becomes involved, taking the whole of humanity down a profoundly wrong path.
The first step of ending contradiction, waste, and conflict, is always as simple as it is hard. The first step is to simply stop. And, by stopping, become aware of what we've done, and the consequence for future generations of creatura.
That's what d & d is all about.
[POEM PERFORMANCE NOTE: d & d can also be down with large mixed choir,or other vocal ensembles, perhaps with percussion instruments added. Improvise. Have fun. Change the world. It needs it!]
d & d—a neon graffiti poem
deadly substances laCe
wOmb of earth,
wiTh nothing other than more of themselves,
Multiple waves of
in wAys so appallingly contorted in their
that I, as
one amOng countless millions of other members of creatura
wish we would have Not produced in the first place,
given the fact that i myself, too, Do need, as you, perhaps, too,
and many others, also, do need morE than a modicum
of purifiCation and cleansing,
why on earth does the wOrld not put its foot down and simply insist that
we stop thinking up ever-more new deadly Materials
which I'm sure, too, nobody
really wants or needS,
until It (science)
effectively has the Old profound mistakes of the past
thoroughly Neutralized, and, well: the urgency
of all thIs should by now be obvious -- it is after all rather boring -- in that
the world which seeks security in N-weapons -- (¿contradiction?) -- might soon
need more than than just more Decontamination & DecommissioninG.
(read as if in one breath)
Featured gallery, 100 MINIATURES, a set of 100 black & white photographs. ONE image. ONE idea. ONE new way of looking . . .100 MINIATURES—online gallery
Each miniature is a kind of meditation on one idea & one image;
Each lasts 30 seconds; They play in random order;
The music is my BOREA Mix,
for hand-played ePecussion Orchestra.
[ mouse over for controls / lower right fro full-screen ]
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1998-2016 picture-poems.com