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Symbolic as a dream (but it was real) I saw this:
a confluence of rivers in a plain
minutes before the early January dark.
I stood on a high place. To the west,
the sun filled up a band of open air below the cloud, above the land.
It rained in straight ropes. To the east, a rainbow,
linking flags of earth, contained my shadow.
The countryside below blazed indigo.
Five minutes this presented tableau held.
As it began to die, the light picked finally
on one white building, huge, and generating power.
Its poisoned onion was the ultimate illuminated thing before the night.

Sins of the fathers will be visited.
In judgement over lone and level sands
of nuclear desert, stand the visitors,
the children’s children, witnessing the sight:

distended sun
denatured landscape
evil water-course.

Audio file

Listen to this poem — read by the author