Born out of grim necessity
In the horror and agony of Hiroshima, Nagasaki,
The Nuclear Age grew from swaddling clothes Into manhood almost overnight.
There was a question mark over the future
From the first hour the birth was announced
Today, eleven years have passed
Since that first blinding flash of light
Wrote upon the pages of history Another chapter in Man’s conquest of nature.
There is still a question mark.
It is still not certain
That Man’s conquest of himself is complete.
The awesome power of the creation
Is in truth linked to Man’s good intentions
And his striving toward improvement of his lot.
There is still the question mark—
One misstep and then destruction.
There is, however, hope and faith
That only good and no evil
Will emerge from the nuclear piles
That begin life in the colorful, barren earth
Of New Mexico, Arizona, and Montana,
Of Utah, Colorado, and Nevada.
There is an omen for good in the lilt of the names
Given to places only yesterday known but to a few.
Listen to the singing of Monument Valley,
Moab, Red Rock, and Monogram Mesa.
There is Mexican Hat, and, Paradox Valley,
Shiprock, Cisco, and Naturita.
Then, there’s Dead Horse Point.
Oh, yes, this is Indian Country,
Home of the Navajo!
They are still the only masters
Of this desolate waste
Which reflects the colors of uranium
In both its raw and finished state.
The yellows and greens of ore are there;
The flaming red of fire is there.
Both animal and vegetable,
Manages to survive,
And it has been so for centuries.
The early Indians used uranium
For their war paints,
Unaware of any portent for the future.
And the skeleton of a giant dinosaur,
A fossil of an early chapter in history,
Was tumbled out of the rock
With its ancient bones so radioactive
A Geiger counter came to life.
Life! That word keeps recurring.
Uranium can mean much to life and to living,
If the power Man holds in his hands
Is devoted to the glory of a future at peace.

uranium-poet

In this majestic, barren, as yet uncivilized uranium country, the lonely prospector stakes his claim, according to the laws and surely for the good of civilization.