Maralinga Nuclear Test site South Australia

By Di Cousens
Di Cousens poem on Right Now

Green glass ground
sand burnt by the bomb.

poisoned air
evaporated people
no animals
empty spaces
a past that stopped.

Silent songs sung
by the missing.

This poem was initially published in the chapbook the days pass without name. The chapbook explores many issues related to human rights, such as the detention of refugees, environmental poems and poems that explore the death penalty.


About Maralinga Nuclear Test site: Between 1956 and 1963 the British conducted nuclear tests at Maralinga Nuclear Test site in South Australia. After two clean-ups and a Royal Commission, debate continued over the safety of the site and the long-term health effects on the traditional custodians of the land. In 2017 the second Tarnanthi indigenous contemporary visual arts festival at the Art Gallery of South Australia featured a work that explored these stories: ‘Kulata Tjuta (Many Spears)‘ by men and women from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.