Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Thursday, 6 August 2015

DEATH OF INNOCENCE

On 6th August, seventy years ago today, an event occurred that changed forever the world in which we live and granted the human race an awesome power hitherto attributed only to the gods.




ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND


We work our fields. The sun is bright.
The men sing a patriotic song.  We bend and straighten. Our backs ache. 
We do not curse: we are polite and strong.  To work is to belong.
We toil for the Emperor’s sake.

Old Haruki points overhead: a crane is flying from the north.  Its languid wings sweep like brushstrokes. Cranes are good fortune, it is said.

We resume plowing, back and forth, joyfully singing, sharing jokes.

I dream of fiery rice wine, ice then flame in my throat; the slow walk homeward. 
We are a happy crowd.
Comradeship, sacred brotherhood, bind us together. We think of our great nation and sing aloud.

I do not hear the Yankee plane
but shudder as a mushroom cloud despoils the picture-perfect sky.

Nearby Hiroshima,
domain of a nobility most proud,
is laid to waste.

Prostrate we lie, while airborne poison, like a stain, begins to spread. 
We tremble, cowed, claw at the earth, prepare to die.

Our tranquil world is turned to pain.
We burn to ash in fields we plowed.

One hundred
thousand people.

Why?





Click here to hear the voice of J Robert Oppenheimer, Head of the Manhattan Project Secret Weapons Laboratory speaking, years after the event, about the test explosion that preceded the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Hiroshima by John Hersey

Robert Oppenheimer

Hiroshima & Nagasaki 

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