Explanation and background
The poem focuses on environmental destruction in Romania which was done by multiple companies and Communists, who destroyed entire communities in search of gold, uranium and copper.
The village in Transylvania sacrificed to toxic sludge
It’s not just vampires and bats that make Transylvania eerie. The village of Geamana was abandoned as a dump for toxic waste from a nearby copper mine.
Ceausescu’s tall statue is no more,
Only two legs stick out of the hill, like two burnt tree stumps,
His upper torso, his head and an arm reaching for the sky,
Stick out of the charred earth,
The legs, darkened concrete and rusted iron,
Stare down the smoke chocked valley.
The village is no more,
Only the church tower,
Like an old crooked man,
Sticks out in the middle,
Its roof has mostly caved in, with large chunks of the masonry missing,
On the spire a ghost haunts the village,
A white apron, picked up by a sluggish wind,
The old fabric is sickly yellow, only with hints of white, ripped into pieces,
On the rooftop, dead pigeons lie, rotting away,
Maggots crawling out of their bellies.
The rest of the valley? The rest of the village?
Beneath the lake covering the entire valley,
The whole region been flooded when the dams were built,
The dams, to generate electricity for Communist power,
To direct the water for mining,
For the State, for the Company,
So they can lay their claws upon the treasures of the mountains,
The Mountains are no more.
In the distance, barren as bones,
A carcass, with massive holes on the hillsides,
Like eye sockets on a skull,
All mined out for the blood, for the gold, for the copper.
The lake is sick,
Nothing lives there,
The land is poison,
The waters are poison,
The air is poison,
And the lake?
The lake is still growing,
Each year the poisoned waters rise,
Consuming more of the land,
Sickly patterns in the lake,
Consume and consume,
Their colours of scarlet, grey, black and death,
Orange mixes with purple, green and yellow to create hypnotic ripples,
As the demon lake eats away at the barren shores,
This land is no more.
Up from the valley,
Far above the sea of the dead,
The forest is no more.
Only barren hills,
Sickly green hills, brownish and uneasy grey,
Not a sound in the air, everything is deathly quiet.
Tall on the hill,
On poles reaching the sky,
The Hammer and Sickle,
The Circle of Stars,
And the Star-Spangled Banner flutter with pride.