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Man Jan 30
i have atom bomb dreams
from the desert
mushroom clouds billowing
the shockwave blow past cacti
and down the dirt road i'm on
from the cockpit of a b-29
leveling the ground below
already comprised of craters
as we pummel the earth
we become a might to match the gods
"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one” Oppenheimer
Tyler Matthew Dec 2020
She was born in a mushroom cloud,
1945.
Uranium halo 'round her head
and stars inside her eyes.

They pulled her from her desert womb
and the whole world with her cried.
"The War is Over!" Peace at last!
Mother Atom had arrived.
Emily Nov 2020
God, it's raining
ash embers and the noxious spiders
are jumping from
pole to rusted pole.

I really blew it up,
gosh golly,
I really blew it up.

I needed to. The venomous
blob was poisoning my mind,
but gosh golly!

The city is gone-- crater left where
church, congregation, lovers once
held hands under the blue moon.

The smoke bomb filled the sky
and it vaporized
all but the brown recluse.

Careful, that venom stings.
AaaaaaHHH
Chris Saitta Aug 2020
Maybe the darkest things are the truest things,
Death, the redoubtable lover of all, the atom bomb
Burns beneath cherry blossoms of closed eyelids,
A magnolia grove of forever fasting lips of the dead,
Pompeii and Hiroshima, twin lovers of rupture,
Graves of the wind now, keepers of nothing and all.
Joe Millard Aug 2020
I began to weep seeing horrors
outside the Urakami Cathedral
amid skeletons of the horrific explosion,
that scarred innocent faces,
burnt patterns on human flesh,
and melted eyes of the pure
on that August day in 1945.
  
The day the bells did not ring
for those disfigured by flames,
charred by unseen radiation,
or left wandering among the dead.  
My tears became fears
outside Nagasaki Peace Park in 1956
seeing the insanity of igniting the air.
Michael R Burch May 2020
Hiroshima Poems

Let Us Be Midwives!
by Hiroshima survivor Sadako Kurihara
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Midnight . . .
the basement of a shattered building . . .
atomic bomb survivors sniveling in the darkness . . .
not a single candle between them . . .
the odor of blood . . .
the stench of death . . .
the sickly-sweet smell of decaying humanity . . .
the groans . . .
the moans . . .
Out of all that, suddenly, miraculously, a voice:
"The baby's coming!"
In the hellish basement, unexpectedly,
a young mother has gone into labor.
In the dark, lacking a single match, what to do?
Scrambling to her side,
forgetting themselves . . .

It appears that my translation above has been used by Hiroshima University in a new field of study called International Peace and Coexistence. I found my translation on the university’s Peace and Coexistence Facebook page. Being a longtime peace activist, I am particularly happy with the name of the course!



Now the remaining Hiroshima survivors are aging, and they must wonder what the world has learned from their harrowing ordeal:

See: whose surviving sons
visit the ancestral graves
white-bearded, with trembling canes?
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



We should always consider the fates of innocent children:

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
―Michael R. Burch, "Epitaph for a Child of Hiroshima"



The intense heat and light of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb blasts left behind ghostly silhouettes of human beings whose lives were erased in an instant:

Hiroshima Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

Hiroshima shadows ... mother and child ...
Oh, when will our hearts ever be beguiled
to end mindless war ... to seek peace,
            reconciled
to our common mortality?



Poets remind us that we all share a common destiny:

Grasses wilt:
the braking locomotive
grinds to a halt
―Yamaguchi Seishi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Something
by Michael R. Burch

Something inescapable is lost―
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone―
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past―
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
and finality has swept into a corner where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.



Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this―
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live two artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears ...



Lucifer, to the Enola Gay
by Michael R. Burch

Go then, and give them my meaning
so that their teeming
streets
become my city.

Bring back a pretty
flower,
a chrysanthemum,
perhaps, to bloom
if but an hour,
within a certain room
of mine
where
the sun does not rise or fall,
and the moon,
although it is content to shine,
helps nothing at all.

There,
if I hear the wistful call
of their voices
regretting choices
made
or perhaps not made
in time,
I can look back upon it and recall,
in all its pale forms sublime,
still
Death will never be holy again.



The day the Cloud reigned
by Michael R. Burch

The sky was clear on Hiroshima,
sealing her fate.
The report of the weather plane,
neither early nor late,
was certainly plain.

The few innocuous clouds did not refrain
from abandoning the city.
Only the silence, monstrous in its complicity,
regarding man’s error
acknowledged the horror.

Only the small, astonished victims
understood the immaculate heavens:
the inconceivable light
igniting their bones;
the Cloud, all of a sudden,
billowing unbidden,
and then the apocalyptic rain
descending again and again.

So that where white chrysanthemums
had once whispered with bemused tongues
instantly only ashen ruins remained
the day the Cloud reigned.



War Close Up
by Hiroshima survivor Kurihara Sadako
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stirring bugles! Rousing martial music!
The announcer reporting "victory"
like some messenger from on high,
fanning, fanning the fervored flames of battle!

Masterful state magicians materializing
in a wizardly procession,
spreading cleverly poisoned words
to bewilder reason!
Artistic expression abracadabra-ed into state-sponsored magic!

The sound of boots, guns, bombs, cannons
as our army advances, advances, advances toward the enemy!
The thunder of our invincible tanks advancing! Alleluia!
The sudden, sweet gurgles of drowning enemy ships!

The radio broadcasts the sounds of battle:
A war hymn resounding to the skies,
sung by courageous men and women
who worship this cruel idol, War.

Oh, so powerful the merest whiff
addles even the most independent spirit―
the ***** of patriotism!
the religion of race!

While on scenic islands
scattered like stepping stones across the globe,
and on farflung continents,
driven by boundless avarice,
the landlords rage and rave again,
instilling hatred in indigenous populations
then prodding, driving them into battle.
Full of high-sounding pretexts
inevitably adapted to expediency
they raise indisputable banners―
God is on our side!
Righteous war!
Holy war!

"Right" becomes the password of thieves.
They square their shoulders:
"To secure world peace
annihilate
the evil opponent!"

They bark commands:
"For ten years, a hundred years,
fight to the last man, the last woman!"
The master magicians' martial music
resounds magisterially;
fanatic bull-mad patriots
roar and run amok;
completely bewitched, the people carol in unison:
"O, let me die by the side of my sweet Sovereign!"

Keywords/Tags: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, atomic bomb, Japan, Japanese, translation, nukes, nuclear weapons, nuclear war, epitaph, child, children, mother, mothers, father, fathers, WWII, apocalypse, Armageddon
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Lucifer, to the Enola Gay
by Michael R. Burch

Go then,
and give them my meaning
so that their teeming
streets
become my city.

Bring back a pretty
flower—
a chrysanthemum,
perhaps, to bloom
if but an hour,
within a certain room
of mine
where
the sun does not rise or fall,
and the moon,
although it is content to shine,
helps nothing at all.

There,
if I hear the wistful call
of their voices
regretting choices
made
or perhaps not made
in time,
I can look back upon it and recall,
in all
its pale forms sublime,
still
Death will never be holy again.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Penny Dreadful and Poetry Life & Times. Keywords/Tags: Hiroshima, Enola Gay, atomic bomb, explosion, mushroom cloud, death, Lucifer, Satan, Devil, chrysanthemum, sun, moon, voices, choices
Chris Saitta Nov 2019
Garden of Gethsemane, under your Mount of Olives,
The green-pitted translucence of night, where Christ,
Seer-in-knowing, writhes at the split seed of fission,
Break of night into the morning blossoms of Hiroshima’s ash,
Of mercurochrome and zinc oxides and the red snow of skin,
And his resurrection, forever once-again, in atomic flash,
The smells of honeysuckle and hay of manger,
And his breath of molten potash.
Mark Toney Nov 2019
beware atomic attack!
1950s civil defense
duck and cover drills
Bert the turtle
showed us the way

flash of light - duck and cover!
6/8/2019 - Poetry form: Light Verse - In school we actually did atomic bomb drills where we'd go into the hallway, sit with our backs against the wall, duck our head between our knees and cover our head with our hands! Duck & cover drills! ***! - Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2019
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