august mornings in hiroshima





august mornings in hiroshima


a summer’s day in august
with measured steps   i tread
once burnt ground

cicadas drum humid air hums
distant streetcars rattle

weeping willows green and dense
line the river’s path
define this park of peace

i join those already at the cenotaph
the fragrance of incense and flowers
cannot ease the stark facts here

at the bronze sculpture
mother and child in firestorm
the mother’s eyes stare with terror
as she hunches like an animal over her young

The tower clock strikes
its hands point to a moment that must not be lost
that mortal moment: eight fifteen a.m.
my eyes catch hot hazy sky
old skin   innocence lost


that summer’s day in August
the enola gay looms onto the horizon
a glint in the sun a blinding flash
a shadow dooming humanity
its foreboding drone
drowned out by the song of cicadas

children chase dragonflies on their way to school
fishermen trawl the tranquil river
breakfast-cooking odours waft
the city bustles into life
supernatural light delivers hell to earth
hell is here
written on flesh without breath



a summer’s day in august
stringed garlands of folded paper cranes
sway like multi-coloured prayer flags
circling the children’s peace monument

a mother kneels beside her young child
she tells a story
the story of sadako
sadako   who died of ‘bomb sickness’
and inspired children
to fold paper cranes for peace

together the mother and child
step forward and ring the bell

above silhouetted against the sky
a sculpture of sadako holds high a golden crane

hope balancing on its wings