Bikini Atoll, July 1946

The verdant waves of oceans green
Break cross the rolling golden dunes,
And every star, dreaming to be seen
Arrives to break the evening’s gloom.

The salty fragrance of the sea,
Finer than any censer scented
To raise up thoughts, to never be,
To never dance with discontentment.

To float across the whole wide ocean,
A million sunsets passing by;
How joyous to be in perpetual motion,
Subject to only the whims of the tide.

As the rainbow fractures on the water,
And the splintered colors bleed into one,
Heaven’s light passes from father to daughter
Who could ever cry for a setting sun?

Oh luminous Luna! must you always leave
So soon? In this the most beautiful season,
Which grants to the weary a moment’s reprieve,
From the restless restraints of faulted reason.

The sparkling fairies who attend their queen,
And paint her fancies across the sky,
Though by day they are as dreams unseen,
But never far from my mind’s eye.

Once, awoken from a serene sleep,
I found I’d washed up on an isle,
And soon had deemed that I should keep
This place to make my home for awhile.

At night my heart beats with the rhythmic tide,
And in unison sings with the luscious moon,
Like a silver crystal dancing in the sky,
Whose beauty can cause any man to swoon.

Now this island, but scarcely a mile wide,
Was ringed round with sand, but past the beach
The trees grew so dense that the rolling tide,
Their silent perimeter never could breach.

One day I decided to speak with the sky,
Though speckled with clouds, I began to climb
Past the canopy ‘til I could finally spy,
Out past the reaches of powerless time.

In every direction, the tangerine sea
Spread slow without end, for a minute I waned,
As the world did in turn, and with me did breathe;
For a while we kept up our silent refrain.

Then lying down on the vibrant leaves,
To wait for my love (dear Luna) to fill
Once more my eyes, on this carpet of trees,
I wait though she tests all the strength of my will.

But as evening came on, instead of the moon,
The sun seemed to burst in the violet sky,
And the world turned to white – much too fast – much too soon,
And across all the ocean I could hear their cries.

I watched as fair Eden withered away,
As the golden sand became black and fell,
All the dreams of my life disappeared in a day,
I watched my Eden transformed into Hell.

Perhaps we are bound to eternal return,
And to following life’s inexorable thrust,
But as Luna and Eden and I came to learn,
All the beauty in life turns to naught but dust.

Don't Be Silent

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