Thursday, August 6, 2015

After Basho


AFTER BASHO

Chalk white moon, a disc of pooling light.
Round old pond, stillness unruffled,
Bird tucked inward. Behind
Embankment of clouds, a frog leaps—
Touchdown in water!

Black sky bursts, broken,
Beatific placid mirror shattered
By splash of a big blast,
Droplets, tremulous,
Subatomic particles scattering,
Tsunami unleashing gamma waves, X-rays,
70,000 instantly dead…

Genbaku Dome, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Originally published in Eastlit (August 1, 2015)



Genbaku Dome, Hiroshima, Japan. UN Photo

6 comments:

  1. Total deaths estimated that immediately resulted from the Hiroshima bombing varies. The 1946 Manhattan Engineer District Study calculated that 45,000 died the first day, while CNN.com (August 6, 2013) cited the figure of 80,000 “instantly” killed. The poem “After Basho” cites the figure of 70,000, a reasonable estimate based on the range given in some reputable sources, e.g. bbc.co.uk (October 15, 2014), of 60,000 to 80,000 instantly killed.

    Gonzalinho

    ReplyDelete
  2. UN Photo reproduced under Fair Use terms

    UN Photo Usage Guidelines: http://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/guidelines.jsp

    Gonzalinho da Costa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Basho biography: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/basho

    Gonzalinho

    ReplyDelete
  4. Basho's frog haiku: http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/basho-frog.htm

    Gonzalinho

    ReplyDelete
  5. Also published in Arlijo, Issue 86 (March 1, 2016)

    Gonzalinho

    ReplyDelete
  6. Also published in Teresa Mei Chuc, ed., Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands (Pasadena, California: Shabda Press, 2017), p. 377

    Gonzalinho

    ReplyDelete