Thursday, February 10

Tom Lumpkin

Now I stand in the zoo next to the yaks.

Let the ghosts of those recently starved rise

and like piranhas in ten seconds flat chew down to the public bones

the generals and the experts on antipersonnel weapons

and the senators and the oil men and the lobbyists

and the sleek smiling sharks who dance at the Diamond Ball.

I see from the afternoon papers

that we have bought another country

and are cutting the natives down to build airstrips.

This is butterfly’s war song addressed to the Congress of the Sharks.

You eat bunches of small farmers like radishes for breakfast.

You are rotting our teeth with sugar

refined from the skulls of Caribbean children. Thus far

we have only the power of earth magicians, dream and song

and marching, to dance the eagle to sleep.

We are about to disappear into the fire.

There is only time for a brief curse by a chorus of ghosts

of Indians murdered with smallpox and repeating rifles on the plains,

of Indians shot by the marines of Santo Domingo,

napalmed in the mountains of Guatemala last week.

There will be no more spring.

Your corn will sprout in rows and the leaves will lengthen

but there will be no spring running clean water through the bones,

no soft wind full of bees, no long prairie wind bearing feathers of geese.

It will be cold or hot. It will step on your necks.

A pool of oil will hang over our cities,

oil slicks will scum your lakes and streams killing the trout and

the ducklings,

concrete and plastic will seal the black earth and the red earth,

your rivers hum with radioactivity and the salmon float belly up,

and your mountains be hollowed out to hold files of great corporations,

and shale oil sucked under the Rockies till the continent buckles.

Look! children of the shark and eagle

you have no more spring. You do not mind.

You turn on the sunlamp and the airconditioning

and sit at the television watching the soldiers dance.

~ Marge Piercy


Sunday Vigil at Y-12 in Oak Ridge Tennessee

Sunday Vigil

The OREPA Board has now decided that we are prepared to do a limited re-opening of the Sunday vigil to allow for slightly more participation.  We are asking anyone who wants to attend a Sunday vigil to sign up in advance—by the Thursday before. There are two ways to sign up. You can email Ralph at or you can call him at 865 776 5050. If the five slots are already taken, we’ll ask you to wait until next week. All vigilers are expected to wear masks. Bring your own chair. Avoid physical contact and maintain an appropriate social distance in the circle of chairs. Of course, if for any reason you feel you may have been exposed to the virus or to someone with the virus, you should not attend the vigil. At this point, we are not resuming our monthly potlucks.

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