by Marty




No sirens warned of the approaching doom.

No notice given of what was to come.

As I looked from the window out of my room,

completely oblivious to the incoming bomb.


Maybe in London the sirens wailed,

made people aware of what was in store.

That attempt at reason had finally failed.

And someone had started the Third World War.


Or perhaps they were silent even there,

as the government realised that all was lost.

That no final deed, no speech, no prayer,

could avert this final holocaust.


The morning was bright, and suddenly brighter

as a second sun rose in the western skies.

And I watched, fascinated, my head growing lighter,

as the heat flash seared into my eyes.


Strange how at first I felt no pain

though both my eyeballs had been melted.

My skin peeled away as completely in vain

I stumbled and searched for somewhere more sheltered.


But I'm one of the fortunate, for death came fast.

Evaporated completely in one flash of light.

Not one of the unlucky to survive the blast

and hope that day could follow this night.



Authors Note: I wrote the following poem in 1965, when I was still at school.

Reading it now reminds me of that time in the sixties when, as a teenager growing up during the Cold War years, underpinned by the arms race with its proliferation of nuclear weapons, and what seemed like a crazy belief on the part of our so-called leaders that M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) could in some way prevent either side from ever actually using these weapons of mass destruction, I used fear that the human race was run (and lost).

It brings me back to a period in my life when I was full of teenage angst, felt a rage against the idiots who were supposedly in charge of my destiny, and believed that I was helpless to actually do anything about it.