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Useful And Fantastic: Batten Down This Earth

Val Yule was prompted to write this poem after reading about a conference which discussed the provision of nuclear bunkers for "essential'' people.

Batten down this earth and its trees
before the hurricane

Cover the farms and the forests,
net over the streams,

Butterflies and insects
shield - how? from this flame.

But none of these
is in a bunkering scheme.

Bury the books deep,
make cellars for your heritage.

Is there a deepfreeze
you can bank grandchildren in?

Dustcovers for democracy -
a military entourage
will come to take the scenery,
when the war begins.

(And must all countries bear that wrath?
And must this landscape die?
What flesh can barricade their path,
What blood unspilled can cry?)

Beyond the screens of lies and smoke I see
One Fate still spins a spider thread
that need not be.

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