HOMES OF WOOD AND PAPER
For Mrs H, (Atomic Bomb Survivor)
Look at how survivors live now,
hidden away in honeycombed tenements,
each throbbing from their terrible hives.
Look at their contact with the outside world,
satellite dishes face skyward with tongues out
just like those rivers of floating souls.
Look at the washing lines starved of clothes –
limbs of white chiffon dancing on the dead wind in
crumpled stripes of star spangled banners.
the emperor’s new clothes?
Once they lived in homes of wood and paper,
with Mother’s who knew their myrrh of birth,
survivors today are twice born miracles.
In homes of wood and paper, mountains appeared,
sky ran red like seppuku, sun was disembowelled
and black holes of mouths were pails of black rain.
Look at the lampposts, twisted black like liquorice,
bow legged structures singing ballads of melted iron,
explain to me where homes of wood and paper go?
Explain to me in simplified Japanese.
(After 1945 Americans insisted on modifying traditional Japanese language to ‘simplified Japanese’)
Picture: Claire Palmer