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Radioactive Hope

It saved them all, you know;
those caught within last
slow throe of extinction
inevitable in the face
of so-called human progress;

For in that final place of wilderness
men were busy building homes
and businesses
stripping woodlands, plowing meadows,
paving marshes,
crowding out solitude and beauty
they sought with so much diligence,
killing off the very thing they wanted
with the squirming thick
of swelling human masses.

Villages and towns spread cancerous
deep into wetland, vale and forest,
streams and rivers slowly swallowed
by retention ponds and reservoirs,
good earth and pure water
stained by pesticides and run-off
the air itself thickening
with growing traffic
as wilderness became a remnant ache
of narrowing habitat even rats
found unsustainable.

Until the accident occured,
and poison spread across the world.

in close-by places newborn's brains
grew outside their skulls
and children with too many limbs
or not enough became so common
whole industries of formal care sprang up
as parents walked away from babies
made monsterous by damaged genes,
and of the heros
who fought the blaze that sent
poisoned clouds across the land
few survived the battle
even though they won the war.

Thousands fled,
every single piece of life
abandoned in their haste
to flee from
unseen contaminating killer,
entire towns and cities
suddenly abandoned
in the face of fear
of what had happened
as government declared disaster
and covered melted fuel rods
with tons of leaded sand,
concrete and gravel

Yet in the quarter-century since
radiation spilled into our lives
and chased humanity away
the smouldering remains
of old disrupted lives
have become wilderness again,
rich with wolf, boar,
bison, pony,
badger, bear, lynx and hare
lives shortened by poison
yet unhunted,
changed, but free once more.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
I didn't like the last verse, but others do, and its improved by Roscoe's recommendations, so I'll keep it.
Editing stage: 


The last Stanza is fine as is the rest of the piece, did you think it was too much in its finality..
Well when the scourge of the Earth, either becomes its saviour or dies out, then the Earth will be a festering heap of rotating rocks.
We will not destroy this planet only our own weak selves, unless we learn to regulate our ways into the good for all beings.
Evolving on the Earth is a hard task but there will be many changes before the lessons are learnt and the children are taught the ways of good for all.
We live here to learn and play as if a giant school, if we wreak the school then the thing called Mankind will become obsolete then I fear the tomorrows where we can no longer learn from the physical beings,
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

The last stanza was a lirttle rushed, hence my dislike of it: I tend to give more thought to what I write before I write it!
I think I'm a lot more optimistic about our future, both for survival, and for learning how to manage our planet and its life. I have children, so I have to be. But attaining a level of conscience truly capable of "live and let live" it won't happen soon enough, I'm afraid, for many species, so I think that having no-go areas like Chernobyl is a good thing for Life, in the long run.
It will be interesting and instructive to see what wildlife returns to the new Fukushima Exclusion Zone in Japan, given the fact that no humans want to live there now, and probably won't for at least a half-century.

Respectfully, Race

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

author comment

on this theme Jim. You have captured almost every danger that threats our and others' lives on this planet and I believe you did it pretty well though it reads more as prose in more than one place.
I am not sure why you don't like the ending therefore, I am not sure I can give any better alternative.

enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me

Yes, it does read more like prose in certain places, I agree, so I think I'll give this a re-write, and see how I can improve it.

I don't like the ending because it is rushed, but having both you and Ian tell me you don't see why I don't, I think I'll keep that part intact.

Thanks Rula.

Respectfully, Race

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

author comment

I think this poem say's life would go on without humans, personally i think for the better. If this was the intention, then it works. Last stanza is fine, but take away ( and and the ,from lines 3 and 4 ) then change moldering to smouldering, and i think it's perfect. Regards Roscoe...

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

Thanks for the critique, which I will follow.
I'm honestly not sure if this is about life going on without us, although you're probably right. As for it being better off without us, that is probably true, right now, with our wanton destruction of habitats and mass-production of livestock for food, but in the long term I think that we will manage our planet's Life in such a way as to preserve its diversity, and perhaps, in the not-too-distant future, create new life forms, something that current genetic research is moving towards with ever-increasing rapidity.

Thanks again, Roscoe.

Respectfully, Race

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

author comment
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