Tag: Amanda Owens

Windmills

Snow white windmills turn lazily on

the mountain top, typically blocked by haze.

Mountains form a giant sloping bowl.

Some people call it nuclear soup

others say we are protected by a bubble, radioactive.

Go to Hill Top when the sun goes down, where Joey’s vigil took place.

There the city’s lights outshine the stars above.

A forgotten city amongst the trees, tucked

down in the mountains.

The city’s borders never move an inch.




This poem is excerpted from “The Manhattan Project,” a chapbook manuscript depicting the locale and history of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Known as “The City Behind the Fence” and “The Secret City,” Oak Ridge was the home of the atomic bomb and about 30,000 citizens of multigenerational families: a city laid in the shadow of the horrific events from World War II. Using found information, reference material, and personal narrative, the poems from this manuscript have been constructed to detail the city’s history, mystery and cynicism. The speaker’s voice is the voice of the city.

The City Behind the Fence

It was born out of war, raised in secrecy,

and known for destruction.

Before the war Cherokee hunted here,

locals listen to the ravings of John Hendrix

spinning tales of massive white lily buildings.

28 years later he was right. The City

Behind the Fence grew silent and selective. 

Guard post relics still stand on the city’s edge

where locals park to hike the trails.

World War II has ended, and we are forgotten

to all, but rowers.

Muscles taut pulling oars through

glassy green waters of Melton

Hill. Dip a line in and test your luck.

 Known for the smoothest 

water in the world. A spring bubbles

under foot feeding the outdoor pool.

Take the boat out and travel the 42

mile Clinch River. 

 Don’t like water?

There’s always disc-golf, regular golf, 

perhaps tennis. If not, there is always

biking and hiking right up through Pine Ridge.

They say the land is left untouched to preserve its beauty. 

Word of advice don’t go to the lake when they’ve released the Dam.




This poem is excerpted from “The Manhattan Project,” a chapbook manuscript depicting the locale and history of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Known as “The City Behind the Fence” and “The Secret City,” Oak Ridge was the home of the atomic bomb and about 30,000 citizens of multigenerational families: a city laid in the shadow of the horrific events from World War II. Using found information, reference material, and personal narrative, the poems from this manuscript have been constructed to detail the city’s history, mystery and cynicism. The speaker’s voice is the voice of the city.

Ridge

Rusted barbwire as tall as a man

by some nameless government road

where a deer’s body has no time to cool.

Buildings hidden within the tree line

with faceless researchers who know so much

they know nothing.

Ghostly soldiers watch with phantom eyes,

weapons snug against their person.

There was a sickness within the borders

created to hold in 

the city’s truths.  

Conspiracies spoken by the raving masses. 

Don’t eat the fish you pull from the water.




This poem is excerpted from “The Manhattan Project,” a chapbook manuscript depicting the locale and history of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Known as “The City Behind the Fence” and “The Secret City,” Oak Ridge was the home of the atomic bomb and about 30,000 citizens of multigenerational families: a city laid in the shadow of the horrific events from World War II. Using found information, reference material, and personal narrative, the poems from this manuscript have been constructed to detail the city’s history, mystery and cynicism. The speaker’s voice is the voice of the city.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN