Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: The Cloud of Chernobyl

Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: The Cloud of Chernobyl
Jenean C Gilstrap
Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: The Cloud of Chernobyl

Sunday Poetry with Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: The Cloud of Chernobyl

APRIL 26, 1986 – 29 years ago today – my poem below, dedicated to all those many many who lost their lives then and who live on with the cloud of Chernobyl hanging over them still – and remembering the day that will live on and on as we continue to deal with the horrific legacy of the CHERNOBYL DISASTER

… “a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe.  The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties.  It is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.  The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.  During the accident itself, 31 people died, and long-term effects such as cancers are still being investigated.”   [credit: //]

(There are some issues with HMTL and this poem, if you prefer, you can find a PDF version here)


fiery firey day – fiery fiery day

– power surges and surges some more – blowing the core of reactor four –

react react – react this react that – too late now to close the gate – the reactor sealed

everyone’s fate – the taste of metal the last they know – pins and needles from the fiery foe – firefighters fight and take the fall – kamikaze warriors one and all – people of pripyat left to fend the cloud of death – till nothing was left but their bleeding breath – and nothing there to defend – then buses came to this devil’s game – but too little too late and that’s the shame – what are the names of the ones to blame – it won’t matter as nothing’s the same – days wept by as buses left and others fled – leaving behind their homes now dead – blankets of sand poisoned the land – nowhere to sit nowhere to stand – there’s nowhere to hide – rivers run red far and wide – flora and fauna can’t withstand – the dark destruction of this dealin’ hand – mutations move genetic codes – riding the waves of nuclear modes – plumes

of cancer pour down grief upon the towns – to half-life lives now

they’re all bound – fallout falls down and all

around – leaving nothing there not even a

sound – heaven and hell now inter-wound –

a bleak bleak day to the world at large – for

the price of power the highest charge –

lives lost then lives still lost –

at what a staggering cost –

when death reigned down

from blackened skies – and

ashes sealed their cryin’

eyes – none of their

memories now to

be found

since that

fiery fiery






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Jenean C Gilstrap

Since childhood, Ms. Gilstrap has had a love of words-of writing and other arts. An individualist, she chooses not to follow any pre-conceived pattern for the outlay of these words – rather, she allows them the freedom to forge their own path as they make their way from her heart to pen to paper. Her art work involves both photography and mixed media on large canvasses. She is a weekly featured poet in Yareah Magazine where her works have appeared for more than a year. Her piece The Granite God was the winning poem in Painted Bride Quarterly Sidebar #12 [2012]. Her work has been featured in performance poetry theatrical productions in Louisiana and her short story, Retribution, published in the Helicon Literary Magazine there. She and her gypsywomanworld blog are included as character/story elements in Ghost Key, the fictional work of award-winning author Trish MacGregor. Her first volume of poetry [2013], words unspoken, is available in both paperback and on kindle at amazon. She currently divides her time between her home in Louisiana and the east coast as she completes her second volume of poetry to be published in 2013.

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