Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Explosion

In memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, and also of the countless massacres ongoing over the world.

The Explosion
On the day of the explosion
Shadows pointed towards the pithead:
In the sun the slagheap slept.

Down the lane came men in pitboots
Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke,
Shouldering off the freshened silence.

One chased after rabbits; lost them;
Came back with a nest of lark's eggs;
Showed them; lodged them in the grasses.

So they passed in beards and moleskins,
Fathers, brothers, nicknames, laughter,
Through the tall gates standing open.

At noon, there came a tremor; cows
Stopped chewing for a second; sun,
Scarfed as in a heat-haze, dimmed.

The dead go on before us, they
Are sitting in God's house in comfort,
We shall see them face to face -

Plain as lettering in the chapels
It was said, and for a second
Wives saw men of the explosion

Larger than in life they managed -
Gold as on a coin, or walking
Somehow from the sun towards them,

One showing the eggs unbroken.

-Philip Larkin

Even when we have no clue where we are going with our lives, and I sometimes do get the feeling I am making up the story on the go, there is a feeling that it will all make sense at the end, years, perhaps decades, from today. I have no idea what it must feel like, if some lunatic comes out of nowhere and picks up this story you are writing, tears off the last page, and says, sorry but it has to end right here. How unfair that must feel, and how helpless.

1 comment:

musical said...


thanks for this wonderful tribute.....

there's a lot to say, but for the moment let the silence speak for itself.....

My prayers for those vibrant lives and their loved ones.....