“Under turbines” (Poem)

Jul 30, 2014


Editor’s note:  I have edited the following poem, which originally was three poems.  Read and grieve over this, a tale repeated the world over.


“Under the Turbines”

M. Krochmalnik  Grabois

Infants and toddlers can’t speak
and even pre-teens
may not have vocabulary to describe
what they suffer

Teenagers can tell you more—
they are developing a vocabulary of suffering
beginning to see how life is unfair
fraught with strife

Even if they feel invincible
they watch parents and know
invincibility is a lie

They watch landscape transform around them
watch five-hundred-foot turbines go up

Where the sound of gears way up there
is unlike the sound
of childhood swings
that creak in the wind at night
— a comforting sound

The sound they hear now is the
whoosh of the wealthy
robbing them
even before they have acquired


Interrupted sleep in children is common
a child may feel bullied
even though no classmate bullies him

He has just begun to understand that
monsters beneath the bed
don’t exist

Now he awakens sensing an intruder
roaming the house
— the monster with weapons
more powerful
 than guns
— knowing father is helpless

against the larger forces of this world

Of course it’s true
father tried to stop the turbines
pointing out the Comprehensive Plan
forbade them

Now, he’s powerless


I watch my sleeping daughter
grit her teeth

When she was three she suffered
earaches and took antibiotics
— so many, the doctor
forbade us giving her milk
since milk is laced with them
(and we can’t afford organic)

Now they are back
and her doctor says there’s no cure
except fleeing the “wind farm”

It’s the pressure, he says
and because of her history she’s

Each of us fingers our vulnerabilities
anxiety, nervousness—
I’ve learned the difference between the two
though when I panic awake with racing heart
I’m not sure which is which

And nausea
I’ve always eaten well and never been
 in my life.  Now
I am

I puzzle over wind turbines creating nausea
— am told it’s an inner ear disturbance
something my daughter and I

My neighbor the professor stands
in front of his chalkboard
gripping the edges of the podium
staring at notes

He’s got vertigo and can’t
pace his classroom and
speak extemporaneously, he tells me,
like he used to

I never much liked him
(kind of self-important)
he moved here from the city
for peace and quiet

Laughable, ain’t it, professor?
Now I feel more charitable
we two stood up in public hearings
as our arguments and pleas were
ignored by corrupt politicians
— him with PhD, me with
high school diploma

(Somehow, it makes me think
I was smart not to go to college, though
my mother told me
I was smart enough,
— for this?)

  1. Comment by Pre-Turbine Stress Disorder (PTSD) on 07/30/2014 at 10:09 pm

    May we press forward to defeat the foes – ignorance, “green” lies, greed, &corruption. Thank you Dr. Calvin, and Dr. Pierpont, and all those fighting for the defenseless, the victims, and for TRUTH.

    May God send justice, and swiftly!!

  2. Comment by Marshall Rosenthal on 07/31/2014 at 8:49 am



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