This Poem was Submitted By: Michael Bird On Date: 2004-04-10 21:06:15 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

To Listen to Music While Reading this Poem, just Click Here!

Click Here To add this poem to your "Voting Possibilities" list!

Elena,her Ninja,and Chernobyl

She wears black leather Is sleek and sexy Just like her motorbike Faster than a speeding bullet Gone in a flash Like so many others Traveling from town to town Stopping occasionally now and then Exploring,checking out the desolation Riding through the country side No cars no people Nothing to get in the way Passing through intersections No need for stopping The silence is erie, downright spooky Only her ninja can be heard Screaming like a phoenix That can`t be found Villages,towns,nameless cemetaries Like Smirnovka A village of brothers and sisters Over twenty years now All that remain are pieces here and there Photos ,technics,all unusable The town,Ghostown,deserted Where time stands still Nothing but silence,dead silence All you can hear  Is your own heart pounding Echoing off the buildings Searching from the rooftops To imagine the shining cloud People saw that fateful day And would not realize  It would be the last thing they would see Their fate sealed forever A nursery ,shoes on the shelf,and on the floor No children,no parents An amusement park,silent too Forever frozen in time No music no laughter All vanished without a trace Three hundred thousand,maybe more,maybe less No one will ever know They all died a agonizing death Some were heroes,most were innocent Many had to leave their homes Never to return Welcome to Chernobyl and surrounding towns The dead zone Where the only sound you can hear Is Elena riding her Ninja Like a bat out of hell

Copyright © April 2004 Michael Bird

Additional Notes:
You can visit Elena`s site here Elena,may your gaurdian angel ride with you wherever you may go

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mick Fraser On Date: 2004-05-01 12:41:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
Hi Michael; TY for the interesting lesson. Unfortunately, it appears that Elena has removed her site for many reasons according to a note she left there. However, I was able to search and find her photo report and was amazed at the images she captures. bleak, stark, desolate...lifeless. I love the contrast of Elena her active pursuits and the speed of her bike with the inactive towns. You describe the picyures that I saw on the internet extremely well. My favorite aspect of this work is that it raises the consciousness of people like me who may have forgotten about the horrors of the incident and brings awareness to potential problems that we will almost certainly face again. Like Bhopal, Chernobyl should give us all reason to understand that we can easily destroy ourselves through our own actions. I truly was touched by this and TY for posting it. Mick

This Poem was Critiqued By: Sherri L. West On Date: 2004-04-14 22:20:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.83333
Hi Michael, I just finished visiting Elena's site - someone sent us an email with the link. Then, I find your poem here on my list! I have to say, you captured the mood very effectively. It is very sobering to realize that a place that looks "normal" (although deserted) on the surface, could be so deadly. How frightening it must have been for the residents to realize, too late, that they would not survive. The images were haunting and your matter-of-fact method of telling the facts elicits the same feeling of emptiness and hopelessness. I really don't know if Elena fully explained her facination with the Dead Zone - she seems attracted to it like a moth to a flame. Thanks for posting. Blessings, Sherri
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wayne R. Leach On Date: 2004-04-14 21:12:24
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.86486
Michael, A very touching and descriptive read, and so full of imagery and emotion. I do have some suggestions - of course, or I wouldn't be me. :>) Your 1st paragraph leads us into this poem with no punctuation, yet, as we proceed, we find commas with no spaces after them (S2, L3) and commas with spaces after them (S3, L3). I just wonder if this is intentional to make the reader "rush" on in some places and hesitate longer in others, or if they are simply typos? You have given us some wonderful imagery, alliteration, some rhyming (interior, too). I'll point out a few other places below that I think need attention. She wears black leather Is sleek and sexy Just like her motorbike Faster than a speeding bullet Gone in a flash Like so many others Traveling from town to town Stopping occasionally now and then - [Is this a little redundant - occasionally is "now and then", I think.] [Maybe "Stopping briefly now and then" or something similar?] Exploring,checking out the desolation Riding through the country side No cars no people Nothing to get in the way - [Possibly shorten this by deleting "to get". Just a thought, not critical.] Passing through intersections No need for stopping The silence is erie, downright spooky - [sp. "eerie" ; I like the line very much, though.] Only her ninja can be heard Screaming like a phoenix - [Nice] That can`t be found Villages,towns,nameless cemetaries - [sp. "cemeteries"][...and spaces after commas?] Like Smirnovka A village of brothers and sisters Over twenty years now All that remain are pieces here and there Photos ,technics,all unusable - [Again, check the spacing. It varies.] The town,Ghostown,deserted - [Unless this is a real town, I think "a ghost town" would be better? Spaces?] Where time stands still Nothing but silence,dead silence - [How about a hyphen instead of comma? Just a suggestion.] All you can hear Is your own heart pounding - [Could "own" be left out?] Echoing off the buildings - [I might consider dropping "the" from this line.] Searching from the rooftops - [...and from this one, too?] To imagine the shining cloud - [I do think this line is excellent, as is. It needs the article in it.] People saw that fateful day And would not realize - [Maybe "And did not realize" would be better here?] It would be the last thing they would see Their fate sealed forever A nursery ,shoes on the shelf,and on the floor - [Tough images, but excellent. Very effective. Spacings?] No children,no parents - [spacing?] An amusement park,silent too - [same here?] Forever frozen in time No music no laughter - [Why no comma for separation here as in previous lines?] All vanished without a trace Three hundred thousand,maybe more,maybe less - [again, spacing?] No one will ever know They all died a agonizing death - [" agonizing death"] Some were heroes,most were innocent - [spacing?] Many had to leave their homes Never to return Welcome to Chernobyl and surrounding towns The dead zone Where the only sound you can hear Is Elena riding her Ninja Like a bat out of hell - [Very effective and emphatic closing. I like it.] I know I've made a lot of comments and suggestions, but this poem is very good, and with the finishing touches should do very well by any reader. Thanks for the interesting, though painful in its truth, submission. Please write on, poet. Peace! Wayne
This Poem was Critiqued By: G. Donald Cribbs On Date: 2004-04-13 12:46:54
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Michael, I can definitely see what you mean by being a hopeless romantic. Heh heh, it comes through loud and clear in this poem. As loud as Elena's motorcycle. Elena is an interesting character. She makes the reader of your poem want to know more about her. As you revise this poem, I suggest you begin by going through the poem and working on painting a very sharp and clear picture of her. I would go back and make sure that each time you refer to Elena, you reveal something new about her. So me mannerisms, characterization, personality, quirks or ticks (things people do without realizing--scratching her ear, rubbing her eyes, fixing her lipstick, etc.) Once you have a good solid revision of Elena, the rest of the poem will flow nicely into the deeper and more profound focus, which is Chernobyl. Along that road, you'll also touch on the Ninja, but that goes without saying. The ending of this poem was the most profound for me. So, I would suggest that you work towards the power of this ending, so that you have the most "punch" for both the characterization of Elena and the weight of those who were lost by what happened in Chernobyl. Another suggestion I have for you is to create and revise the metaphors you've used in a few places. For example, "faster than a speeding bullet," and "like a bat out of hell," should be revised into something that is not a cliche (which these are) and to something that helps the reader understand your meaning even better, or develops your Elena character better, or that puts more weight and substance behind the powerful ending. A very unique and special poem. Thank you for sharing this with us, Michael. I hope you'll consider sharing other poems here as well. You've got a very unique voice and talent for bringing things together. A great effort, my friend. Warm Regards, Don
This Poem was Critiqued By: Irene E Fraley On Date: 2004-04-11 11:16:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
Hi Michael, This is a very graphic and vivid portrait of Chernobyl, the accident and its aftermath. Elena comes to life as a real person with a real need for freedom. I wondered if the name, "Ninja" is a trademark name for the model of motocycle, or the company that makes it? The sense of desperation and desolation comes through clearly. Perhaps the horror of Chernobyl is strengthened by the calm way in which the death statistics are listed, and by the other things which are no longer there. I think I like this better than any of yours I have read previously. Thanks Michael. I have no suggestion for changes. Rene Fraley
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2004-04-11 10:43:44
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.45455
Unbelievable, but true. Thank you Michael, for pointing this out to us. Thank you Elena, for risking your life to tell a story. Progress. Measured in bodies. Lessons. Always learned the hard way. tom
Poetry Contests Online at The Poetic Link

Click HERE to return to Database Page!