Devastation scares, intimidates and forces us to take stock. I watched the hour long march of the tsunami late Thursday evening in shock and dismay, hardly believing my eyes. Then, came all the later stories of the loss of lives, homes and livelihoods until the World Figure Skating Championships folks asked the question about canceling this week’s competition in Tokyo.  Excuse me, I think the Japanese will be otherwise occupied for a considerable time to come!


Earth shakes

Fear presides

Breathe, breathe

don’t forget how

Panic rules

Flames incite

Shocks continue

Into the night

Mud rushes in

Capturing the land

Roof becomes basement

Debris swims by

Where are the people

Turned upside down

In seconds, in minutes

Life flows apart

All that water

None to drink

Brother, mother, child

Dead or lost

Shattered earth

Shattered home

Shattered life

Shattered future

Nuclear rods

Hot to let go

Float in the abyss

Of afterglow

Fear runs amuck

Chaos has its day

But shall we skate

The world asks anyway

AD  March 2011

9 thoughts on “JAPAN SUFFERS”

  1. Thanks, Robin. I had a hard time formatting this. There should be stanza breaks after every 8th line but I couldn’t get them on the post. If this came to you categorized as “Family”, that was an early error, corrected later to “Poetry.” Thanks for the other suggestions, too. Blogging is a brain exercise in many ways!

  2. I love the line: roof becmes basement. That says it all–lives turned upside down. Beautiful poem Arletta.

    1. Hello Linda,
      This is a beautiful response. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
      When I wrote it, the nuke damage wasn’t yet known. Even now, it is evolving. I hope the air clears.

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