Not Pompeii

Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, following dam collapse on January 25, 2019 (Photo: EBC)

Torrents
threats
torments
capture
presently
embraced
in business
rapture
earthen
molten
fluid1
falls
seeping
ferrous2
through
sleeping
walls.
No notice
instant
yet a past
ended
fortuitous
flooded
fast
at last
gratuitous.

  1. Pompeii was a city near today’s Naples that was buried in ash and lava by an enormous eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD. []
  2. On 25 January 2019, rural areas of the town of Brumadinho (MG), Brazil were inundated with mud when a tailings dam of an iron ore mine operated by the Vale company collapsed. At least 110 people were killed and at least 248 who just disappeared… . Vale also was implicatd in the Bento Rodrigues (Mariana, MG) dam disaster of 2015. Aside from the immediate loss of life, these dam disasters cause catastrophic damage to scarce water supplies in Brazil. Vale was a state-owned mining conglomerate but was privatised in 1997 under neoliberal president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Unlike Pompei, these kinds of earthen mass burials are caused by humans, euphemistically organised as “markets”. []
Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..