Friday, July 16, 2010

On this day 65 years ago

It was on this day 65 years ago that the first atomic bomb exploded. This test explosion happened at 5:30 a.m. on this day in 1945 near Alamogordo, New Mexico, which is about 120 miles south of Albuquerque.

A scientist who witnessed the test reported: "We were lying there, very tense, in the early dawn, and there were just a few streaks of gold in the east; you could see your neighbor very dimly. ... Suddenly, there was an enormous flash of light, the brightest light I have ever seen. ... It blasted; it pounced; it bored its way right through you. It was a vision which was seen with more than the eye. It was seen to last forever. ... There was an enormous ball of fire which grew and grew and it rolled as it grew; it went up into the air, in yellow flashes and into scarlet and green. It looked menacing. It seemed to come toward one."

J. Robert Oppenheimer was the physicist who led the Manhattan Project, which created the atomic weapon. Years later, he said that what came to his mind as he witnessed the explosion were these words from the sacred Hindu text The Bhagavad Gita: "If the radiance of a thousand suns / Were to burst into the sky / That would be like The splendor of the Mighty One ... / I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds." But there at the desert on that day he murmured only the words: "It worked."

© 2010 American Public Media

---------Lazarus to Einstein

‘What I have given you,‘
-----------he said,
------‘is the ghost of a flower,
for I have come back from the dead.
I have picked myrrh
---from mountains of black granite
& frankincense
---from green deserts of quartz sand
& dug gold
---from the pits of serpents.
I have come back from the dead
-----& know that they lie
for the moon is not green cheese
-----but cold white stone, &
the stars are not the eyes of angels
-----but suns.
& my going was painful
-----but my coming was hell
---------& I hated my going
---------but my coming back
-----I clasped to myself
---------calling it life
though life was dead in me.
-----& this ghost of a flower
is the black seed of a star
------------&, I think,
-----it may grow you a sun.’

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2010

(Tejidos, Vol. I no. 4, p. 3; author’s copyrights.)

----------Lázaro a Einstein

‘Lo que te he dado,‘ —
------------dijo —
----‘es el espanto de una flor,
pues he regresado de los muertos.
He pizcado mirra
---en montañas de granito negro
e incienso
---en desiertos verdes de arena de cuarzo
y he escarbado oro
---en las madrigueras de serpientes.
He regresado de los muertos
------y sé que mienten
pues la luna no es de queso verde
-----sino de piedra blanca y fría
y las estrellas no son los ojos de ángeles
----------sino soles.
Y mi ida fue dolorosa
-----pero mi volver fue un infierno
----------y odié mi ir
----------pero mi volver
-----me lo acogí
----------llamándole vida
aunque la vida en mí estaba muerta.
-----Y este espanto de una flor
el la semilla negra de un lucero
--------------y, creo,
------que te crecerá un sol.’

-------------© Rafael Jesús González 2010


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