In the lowland of the taiga; And vast forests boreal Midst wapiti and wild reindeer, Lynx, stoat, squirrel, snowshoe, brown bear, Lives a hermit in remembrance Of old days and the explosion. Green the firs, bicoloured birches Waving proudly in light wind; Poplars shedding crimson catkins. And the hermit, longing, silent Standing lonely on the brink Of tundra, opens weary eyes and sees. Oak trees bending, whipping back; Barks then tinged by hellish fire, Songbirds in a sky of black. The mushroom cloud, the ball of red: People fleeing, hoping, dying, To the church walls shadows burnt. In the seas the water boiling, Blistering from the reflection Of the short-lived man-made sun. Uriel in heaven crying, Mourning loss of the creation That, in war, unmade itself. No more seasons, only winter; Everlasting winter, with grey soot Like snowflakes falling gently Down to blackened soil; a Hell on Earth, forever dead and frozen. Upon mankind a shadow cast. So the hermit with his gas mask, Breathing filters and asbestos Makes his way, past sickly tree stumps, Past the rotten flesh, past poison Past the hollow shells of old Through miasma to catharsis; Through the lowland of the taiga; In vast graveyards boreal Midst wapiti and dead reindeer, Lynx, stoat, squirrel, snowshoe, brown bear, Through miasma past the tombstones Past the unmarked grave and carcass. Face turned west another fire, Older still than the creation; Shimmering subtly, orange, crimson Through the clouds and casting rays Upon the rolling hills afar, Lights like ghostly sirens calling. And the harp, resurging music, Calming shadows, living beings, Forests, meadows, nature, beauty! From that subtle light display Made the hermit so resentful And envious of death’s embrace. Far away inside a bunker Beneath the old charred earth forgotten Lies dormant in a silo still The array of rockets primed; Awaiting silent, patient, stoic An end, and the explosion.