Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Wet Leaves


 A sign sits amid rubble at a building that was damaged during a demonstration in Dellwood, Missouri following the Michael Brown verdict in Ferguson: photo by Justin Sullivan via The Guardian, 29 November 2014

out on the dark bay rain begins falling
sweeps in over the hills
while the beholders scatter their glims upon the sea
for every day above the dirt 
ahead of the liquidators 
you ought to give thanks no matter sullen
wet leaves
beauty is in short supply

Sullen Beauty Supply Center... and Rudy's, next door. Richmond, California: photo by efo, 16 October 2005

27 April, 1986: The first photo to be taken of the reactor, at 4pm, 14 hours after the explosion. This was taken from the first helicopter to fly over the disaster zone to evaluate radiation levels. The view is foggy due to radiation, which also explains why the shot was not taken too close to the window. Later, radiation experts learnt that at 200 metres above the reactor, levels reached 1500 rems, despite the fact that their counters did not exceed 500 rems: photo by Igor Kostin from Chernobyl: Confessions of a Reporter via The Guardian, 26 April 2011

May 1986: In the 30km no-go zone around the reactor, liquidators measure radiation levels in neighbouring fields using antiquated radiation counters, wearing anti-chemical warfare suits that offer no protection against radioactivity, and "pig muzzle" masks. The young plants will not be harvested, instead used by scientists to study genetic mutations in plants: photo by Igor Kostin from Chernobyl: Confessions of a Reporter via The Guardian, 26 April 2011

Summer 1986: The majority of liquidators were men called up from military reserves because of their experience in clean-up operations or chemical protection units. The army did not have adequate uniforms for use in radioactive conditions, so those enlisted had to cobble together their own clothing made from lead sheets measuring 2-4mm thick. These sheets were cut to size to make aprons covering their bodies in front and behind, especially to protect the spine and bone marrow. 'The clever ones also added a vine leaf for extra comfort,' said Kostin: photo by Igor Kostin from Chernobyl: Confessions of a Reporter via The Guardian, 26 April 2011

 September 1986: Liquidators clean the roof of reactor 3. Initially, workers tried clearing the radioactive debris using West German, Japanese and Russian robots, but they could not cope with the extreme radiation levels, so the authorities decided to use humans. Employees could not stay any longer than 40 seconds at any one time, before the radiation dose they received reached the maximum a human should receive in his entire life. Many liquidators have since died or suffer from severe health problems
: photo by Igor Kostin from Chernobyl: Confessions of a Reporter via The Guardian, 26 April 2011

View of West of Delhi (and air pollution). I think Delhi is one of the few big capitals with so few towers. Taken from Jama Masjit
: photo by Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier, 12 January 2011

President Barack Obama and the family of Michael Brown separately appealed to the protesters for calm. Here, snow falls as Missouri National Guard stand outside the police department in Ferguson: photo by Jeff Roberson / AP via The Guardian, 29 November 2014

Smog envelops buildings on the outskirts of the Indian capital New Delhi
: photo by Roberto Schmidt /AFP via The Guardian, 29 November 2014

Zenica, Bosnia. A woman walking in heavy smog in the early morning
: photo by Dado Ruvic / Reuters via the Guardian, 19 November 2014

@RMoranABCTo be honest this is also how Los Angeles does Fall (November 2012) #smog;}: image via Anne LaBarbera LL.B. @AnneLaBarbera, 6 November 2014

Embedded image permalink

 glad to see it that it is raining and it's raining hard #california #californiarain: image via Hungry Hungry Zombie @ZEROINTELLIGENCE, 8 September 2014 Moreno Valley, California

Violent protests and looting erupted in the US town of Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury chose not to press charges against a white police officer who shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Here, Brown’s mother Leslie McSpadden and other protesters react after hearing the grand jury’s decision
: photo by Jewel Samad /AFP via The Guardian, 29 November 2014

A man collects rubbish at the fishing port of Conakry in Guinea. Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation vaccinated some 200,000 fishermen on islands north of Conakry. The area had been identified as a major transmission source for cholera since the fishermen set up temporary shelters with no toilets or clean water. Guinea has recorded only one cholera case this year, down from thousands, in a rare success that experts cautiously attribute to the vaccinations against the water-borne disease, and hand-washing in the campaign against Ebola: photo by Jerome Delay / AP via The Guardian, 29 November 2014

A FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT RT @PDPJ: #Ferguson protesters light an American flag on fire outside the police station: image via liza @blogdiva, 29 November 2014

Live from Ferguson, Missouri
Ferguson: photo via Alice Speri / Vice News, 18 August 2014


Anonymous said...


vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

“. . .a vine leaf for extra comfort”—such a fine Russky touch for such a hazardous task.

TC said...

Thank you kindly, Sandra and Vassilis.

Yes, that macabre twist on Nobody promised me a Rose garden (of Eden)...

'The clever ones also added a vine leaf for extra comfort.'

Those poor liquidators were many of them themselves liquidated over the generations... that would never happen.

A movie that came out a few years back, Looper, fancied a brutal sci fi future world in which these killer time cops travel back and forth across the dimensions intervening to prevent the future, or something... kind of.


Mose23 said...

Keeping "ahead of the liquidators" with all the End-Of-History Boys about is hard work. All the desperate strategies in Ferguson; people trying not to be forgotten or written out.

Beauty in ruins.

TC said...

Little to speak of in the way of useful cultural memory is permitted anymore. So much that is now written seems merely to elaborate the erasure.