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When we put the poems on Chernobyl by Mario Petrucci with accompanying notes on the SCND web-site we invited teachers to let us see any creative work which had been inspired by the poems. Two years later we have been sent a sheaf of fine poems from the ninth grade class of Leland & Gray Union High and Middle School. Townshend, Vermont, inspired by Mario Petrucci's poems and exploring the issues raised by nuclear energy. We have selected three, printed below, and hope they will encourage other schools to send their own responses to Mario's poems. Our grateful thanks to the school and the authors for permission to reproduce these poems on our web-site.

We are delighted to find our materials being used outwith as well as within the UK and to see that nuclear safety is a shared concern, as poetry is a shared language. If you would like to find out more about Leland & Gray, visit their site at You can find out more about Mario Petrucci (whose inspirational poems follow these) at

Nuclear Power by Michaela Tietz

If you came to see Vermont,
you would look for green.
You would look for the morning light,
spreading color over the trees.
You would look for the lush forests,
home to the shy deer.
You would look for the red barns,
filled with cows.

If you came to see Vermont,
you would not look for a power plant
with its 'beautiful' slabs of steel,
and 'magnificent' grey crayon concrete.
Where the life inside it is kept a secret,
and smoke billows up into the ever blue skies,
turning them black with dirt.
Where a small slip could change the lives of all of us
in this green, colorful, forested, cow-filled state.

Poem by Lena Glickman

Right now
we carry the weight of the Earth on our shoulders
as if there is more Earth above us than below.
We try to forget that
as we stay as silent as brides.
We try to pretend that clean is all that matters,
that the surface is all that matters.

But we spin feet from disaster,
soon to sink like Atlantis.
We forget
that concrete and lead can only take so much,
that humans can only avoid mistakes for so long.
And if disaster falls upon us
well, we have no instructions for that.
And this time,
this disaster:
it is a black that won't wash.

VY: You and I by Lauren Scott

 You say it's clean
I say it's dirty
You say it's safe and sound
I say disaster could strike soon
You say nothing bad has happened yet
I say, you are wrong
You say there are worse things
I say you are out of your mind

I am informed
You are clueless
I take action
You are all talk
As I stand up
You sit down

You and I
We are different
Our minds
Our ideas
Are different
You and I

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