UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Late Night Bulletin by Dorothy Hewett

Oh! put the Geiger counter on
The fish from Galilee,
Christ's walking on the water
And the fallout's in the sea.

Anchored off the Marianas,
Raising sleepy eyes,
Japanese fishermen
Saw a false sunrise.

Four hundred headless walruses,
Washing in the sea,
These are the portents,
This the mystery.

Nightflight from Hawaii,
Cruising through the skies,
Captain of the aircraft
Saw a false sunrise.

What are the sores
On the bodies of the dead,
And who is this babbling
Of a walrus with no head?

Pilots and fishermen,
Messengers of doom,
While the brass-hats fumble
The wrong buttons in the room.

Listen! they are crying
Through the market place,
This is a false sunrise,
Wrong time and wrong place,
And I bear the mark of the tiger,
Its claw-mark on my face.

Oh! put the Geiger counter on
The fish from Galilee,
Christ's walking on the water,
And the fallout's in the sea.

When will it start? I listen,
All I hear is a rushing sound.
Is it the summer lightning,
Or the Polar cap come down?
Is it the wind of the Apocalypse
In the London underground?

There is a glare of metal,
There is a moaning sky,
There will be ghosts and visions,
In the broad noonday,
There will be beggars in Cadillacs
On the broad highway.

Let us stand on the island
In the middle of the street,
But how will we get there
If we have no feet?
It is hard not to stumble,
In a winding sheet.

Away from the foggy city,
Away from the tolling bell,
We will walk like Whittington,
With his cat in a poisoned well,
We will babble of green fields
All the way to hell.

We will carry weeping ploughshares
For those men in hats of brass,
Will there be some mutations,
Or will we all pass,
Underneath the moist earth
And the rainy grass?

Will this redeem us?
The flowers we take with us,
The lovers we lay with
Will they forsake us?
The children we begat here,
Ah! Christ will they forgive us?