(With apologies to Simon & Garfunkel)
Hello darkness, my old friend
Yes, the power’s out again
Because the UPS’ beeping
Woke me when I had been sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Beeps break the sound of silence.
Now in darkness all alone
I guess the Harley Plant has blown
WAPA has no current flowing
So my lightbulbs aren’t glowing
Then my eyes are stabbed
by the flash of my lantern light
Shining bright that touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand customers or more
People texting “are you out too?”
People texting “so what else is new?”
And the voltage like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence.
Now of course we surely know
How a small outage can grow
First you lose gen’rating capacity
Then overload remaining capacity
So you’ll rotate through the feeders one by one
’Til you’re done
Is that the sound of silence?
And the people they install
Solar panels one and all
Batteries or generators
Hand pumps or regulators
So the waters we’d like to flush down the drain
There’s just the sound of humming.
— Sara Smollett, St. Thomas