renga for japan

It was when I had
Just got home early from work,
My old man saying

Japan’s getting it I turned
Around to watch the box and

It was getting it
The pictures were live how strange
I thought watching it

Where this grey mouthed alien
Was now swallowing Japan

In real time I thought
To myself it’s like Manga
But that wasn’t smart

Or funny to say it out
Loud with no more Samurai

Boats were just too small
To resist and I thought of
All those pretty prints

That huge wave with its white curls
Striated and blue lines you know

The great Tsunami
Kanagawa, Hokusai
Such a rare view point

Not a wide mouthed Animé
Nightmare consuming

I saw the good news
A dog rescued from a roof
Radiation free

But now the days pass
Water claims a victory
Over man’s progress

I’m finding it hard to write
Or even mention the theft

Of whole villages
The thousands of lives stolen
How can I say this

Daring to whisper of those
Traces, once upon a time

There’s poison settling
But I hear its safe for now
No snow for children to play

There’s this shaded emptiness
Over the ants that scurry.

Text: © J. L. Nash, 2011
Image: Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), The Great Wave off Kanagawa, part of the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (number 1), first publication: between 1826 and 1833, color woodblock print.


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