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Passions in Poetry

Kokura & Nagasaki

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Balladeer
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0 posted 04-03-2000 07:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Kokura is a city on the west coast of Japan,
A testament to nature and the excellence of Man.
It is a thriving city filled with modern industry.
Its citizens are properous and there is  luxury.

It has a modern monorail for everyone to use
And you can gamble daily at the Racecourse should you choose.
Kokura Castle has been there since sixteen hundred two,
An absolutely striking sight for anyone to view.

Each year brings their Grand Festival, one million people strong
March and dance and raise their voices gaily into song
And, at Yasaka Shrine they humbly bow their heads and pray
For peace, rich harvests and good fortune to be sent their way.

The residents are quite content, as well as they should be.
Their ancestry can be traced back to early history.
They love to work and love to play and love their fellow man
And so life goes in this town on the west side of Japan.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Nagasaki is another city we know in Japan,
A testament to horror and destructiveness of Man.
It has rebuilt itself well in the fifty-five years passed
Since it was leveled fully by that large atomic blast.

But scars still show across the city, scattered here and there
And old men still have wounds and burns and walk with listless stare.
Cruel radiation still wreaks havoc on the elderly
And, though a full half-century's passed, there's still anxiety.

One hundred fifty thousand people failed to survive
That cruel event that ran its course in 1945
But they have bravely battled back, rebuilding what they had.
To think of what they've gone through makes the heart turn cold and sad.

There's an "Atomic Museum" in the middle of the square,
A testament to suffering for all who enter there.
A statue stands of Buddha, one arm out, one at his side,
Protector who could not protect the thousands who had died.

So there stands Nagasaki, bravely moving on ahead.
Their hopes lie in the future. All the past they knew is dead.
A brand new city on the rise and beautiful at last
But doomed to live in infamy for its horrendous past.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

On August 9th of '45, the plane flew overhead,
B-29 named Bockscar�..armageddon in its bed.
The bomb was called the "Fatman", bigger than the "Little Boy"
Which dropped on Hiroshima with a mission to destroy.

Just after 10, the pilot listened to the radio
Advising him he must proceed�the mission was a "go".
He told the crew to ready all, with trembling in his voice
Then headed for Kokura, the Allies target choice.

It was a cloudy morn that day. The pilot made a pass
And then again - then one more time till they were low on gas.
Afraid of running out of fuel, the only thing to do
Was head for Nagasaki, which had been choice number two.

Such ways is history written, friends. Fate really can be strange.
So many lives were altered by that one last-minute change.
Kokura suffered nothing. Nagasaki got the blast
Because it was a cloudy day and they were low on gas.

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (04-28-2010 08:19 AM).]

© Copyright 2000 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
Kevin
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1 posted 04-03-2000 08:06 PM       View Profile for Kevin   Email Kevin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kevin

Its funny why we often try to rationalize the irational, this is one such case.  Something as devistating and significant as a nuclear weapon, altered by the insignificance of a cloud, or fuel... This is so well captured by balladeer, and a testament to his writing ability, applause
Marge Tindal
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2 posted 04-03-2000 08:12 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Balladeer~
This is powerful.
If they'd taught history in school
with works like this ... I might have
listened a little more closely.

I will read this one again.
I'd like to share it with a history
teacher that I know.
Thank you, my friend.
I really enjoy it when you 'dig in'.
~*Marge*~



 ~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
noles1@totcon.com

Michael
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3 posted 04-03-2000 08:37 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

You know, there is such a cruel irony to Fate.  This is so powerful - and indeed, something I never knew of before.  Very well presented poem, Balladeer.  I am moved by your abilities once again.


Michael
Denise
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4 posted 04-03-2000 09:16 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I had never heard of this before either. Life or death was determined by a cloudy day. Very sobering. Great writing, Balladeer.

Denise
Balladeer
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5 posted 04-03-2000 09:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks to you all. Yes, it is strange how such an insignificant thing could produce such a dramatic change of events. I found myself imagining while writing this a small boy in Kokura looking up at the cloudy sky and complaining that there was no sun......makes one think.
Nan
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6 posted 04-03-2000 10:14 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

It certainly does make one think... what an egomaniacal, self-serving, rationalizing lot we can be, don't ya think??.. You frequently astound me with your wonderful cognizance and pure ability, my deer friend..
WhtDove
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7 posted 04-03-2000 11:40 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Michael you've blown me away with this! Many things I didn't know. Here I am reading and learning. Thanks for the sad lesson. I'm left speechless and need to ponder this one a bit...whoa
Pepper
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8 posted 04-04-2000 08:48 AM       View Profile for Pepper   Email Pepper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Pepper

I, also, never knew this 'Deer ...
This is writing at it's best ...
Very powerful ..
Applause here too ..
hoot_owl_rn
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since 07-05-99
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Glen Hope, PA USA


9 posted 04-04-2000 10:15 AM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

I think I would have loved History had you been my teacher  
Janet Marie
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since 01-22-2000
Posts 18986


10 posted 04-04-2000 10:45 AM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

excellent Balladeer..you school us well today with this...both a history lesson and a poetry lesson... way to go teach  
great work in this one, truly
take care,jm

 ...when you walked into the room, I saw their faces,
you made it feel like time was standing still...and I felt fascination...
then you turned and smiled in my direction...
and my heart...gave me away.
glass tiger
Seymour Tabin
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11 posted 04-04-2000 11:58 AM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

Balladeer,
Well you know what I think of your work. Sy
suthern
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on the threshold of a dream


12 posted 04-04-2000 04:07 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

A few years ago, I read an interview of the man who piloted the Enola Gay... your poem brings back many of those same spine-tingling feelings of how happenstance can alter so much... some live, some die... still others remember. *S* Well done!
Andrew Scott
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13 posted 04-04-2000 07:48 PM       View Profile for Andrew Scott   Email Andrew Scott   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Andrew Scott

Sir Balladeer... once again you have proven why you stand so tall in the poetic halls, but also shown us that it is the little things that make up the big.  Thanks for the history lesson... I can think of no better this day.  As always, I bow to you and yours.
Balladeer
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14 posted 04-04-2000 11:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

My warm thanks to you all. Yes, at times there is no need to create fiction when reality is so much more unbelievable than fiction could ever be......
devina
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15 posted 04-05-2000 02:39 AM       View Profile for devina   Email devina   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for devina

Very powerful piece Mike...I always have loved your history lessons!!!

 Open arms can be the most fragile in the world...

JamesMichael
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since 11-16-1999
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Kapolei, Hawaii, USA


16 posted 04-05-2000 03:46 AM       View Profile for JamesMichael   Email JamesMichael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JamesMichael

Amazing talent to put history into poetry form.  When I was in Japan I visited the museums and viewed the ruins in Hiroshima and I was not impressed with the death and destruction that mankind unleased on that day.  Truly a sad and horrible day in history when we felt that our only option was to resort to that means of massive death and destruction.   James
 
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