Exhibit News

Particles on the Wall is excited to announce upcoming exhibits!


The REACH Museum

June 29 - October 21, 2016.

The REACH Museum
1943 Columbia Park Trail
Richland, WA 99352
Sun & Mon: Closed
Tue - Sat: 10:00AM-4:30PM


REACH POTW Flyer.jpg


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Particles on the Wall 2nd edition from Healthy World Press


Burial Grounds explores the nuclear legacy of plutonium production at Hanford -- the most contaminated site in the western hemisphere -- and its ongoing impacts on human and environmental health. From nuclear reactors to the cores of nuclear submarines to storage tanks leaking radioactive waste, work in this theme delves into the contamination with which nuclear technology has burdened the earth.


Doug Gast. 67 Leakers. 2008

Photo by Richard Nicol

Nuclear Radiation Clean Up 1950s


As I swing on the gate at my friend's house

I watch white suited men disappear inside.

their wand-like counters cackle

at invisible findings

spoken only in whispers

from neighbor to neighbor.


My friend and her mom are gone

to find refuge from gawkers like me

or absolution for their part

urging her dad to carry home in his lunchbox

useful office goods and tools

from the plutonium plant.


Her dad is hidden at the hospital

where I hear they are washing him.

Imagine the vats of steamy suds it must take

to scrub away the badness

and how would they know when he's done

all wrinkled and pink?


Swinging back and forth, I think maybe

sins are found finally by fancy wands

wielded by silent men in white.

They crisscross the lawn

pace in and out of the house

and for a time I feel invisible.


When the white suits pass close

the wand's static grows

loud, urgent -

I bolt from my foothold

and worry my way home

counting my sins.


--Irene D. Hays

Once by Hanford Reach


I cupped an exploded milkweed pod –

The air so still

Seeds would not shake out;

The light in the husk

Both blinding and delicate –

Like that moment at Ground Zero

When eye pods implode

Dark seeds of death light.


– Richland, 1985


-William Witherup

This poem is included in the collection

Downwind, Downriver, New and Selected Poems.

West End Press, October, 2000

Colleen Clement. From the series Secret Layers

(clockwise from top left: K-East & K-West Reactors, Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility,118-k-1 Burial Ground, Liquid Effluent Retention Facility). 2011

Photo by Richard Nicol



Untitled Landscape, John White.

Water color

History’s Markers, Hanford


In the upturned earth

history’s markers seep like a tracer

through the hard beds

of rock and soil, veins

with their faint pulse

set the Geiger counter

clucking. Here secrecy and science

were forged, town and reactors erected

against the push of dust

and wind, workers bent to their task

grit in their mouths

a film of dust gracing

their cheekbones, entering the nose,

the eyelids’ border. The plutonium

yielded for Fat Man’s core,

and there, Bockscar opened its hatches

over Nagasaki, birds in flight burst

into flame, women and children

turned to shadow and stone.

Now the desert ticks

the herons’ ragged course tracks

across the river, elements

dispersed in silt

a burial's trajectory.


-- Nancy Dickeman