Tsunami: One year anniversary March 11, 2012

This is greatly condensed down from a section of poetry based on the friendship of a Japanese engineer who was transferred by the company who owned the Fukushima power plant to a company in the US. I am posting this for Gillena’s prompt at: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/  “Hi toads, today i want you to stretch your imagination; ponder a natural disaster, past or recent, and tell me, what role you think, the gods might be playing, resulting in that particular natural disaster.” This is a small section of a poem I have been working on for several years – The Walk – parts I – VIII. He and I became friends while I was reviewing his application for licensure in the US as a professional engineer. He explained to me that much of the physical documentation was destroyed and people who acted as references and verifiers of his experience were dead.  He was in Tokyo at the time of the tsunami on business.  I am writing in haibun form.

free public domain photo – Japan Tsunami

Tsunami: One year later March 11, 2012. section of The Walk Part IV
Susanoo-no-Mikoto* was in a rage the day of the tsunami. He swept before him adults and children, pets, wild creatures, graves of the beloved dead, altars, homes – all washed away like so much trash into a gutter. My friend and I walked that anniversary to our place by the peaceful pond. I handed him a stick of incense. He lit the incense and wept beneath the cherry trees, far from home and dead family and friends.

the sea inhaled then
exhaled a giant wall of
water – spring was drowned

copyright kanzensakura

*Japanese god of the sea, storms, and snakes

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shawna
    Aug 26, 2017 @ 22:29:43

    I love the haiku, the burning of incense, and that the same sea god covers both storms and snakes. I don’t know why that strikes me as funny, but it does.

    Again, stunning haiku.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 26, 2017 @ 22:40:18

      Thank you. Actually he is in charge of all water snakes and dragons. I should have included that info but I was so very wordy as it was!

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO


  2. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 00:13:51

    Spring was drowned – shudder. Powerful.


  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 01:58:40

    Yes.. how such havoc can destroy what’s most beautiful. Somehow it has been forgotten after the nuclear disaster that followed…


  4. Julian
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 04:14:32

    Powerful Haiku, the fact for me that in those three short lines you’ve captured that awful disaster. Such a good read.


  5. kim881
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 04:22:15

    A poignant haibun, Toni, crowned with an excellent haiku.


  6. Brendan
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 07:17:45

    How difficult to enfold a tsunami in a haibun — somehow the prose and poetry halves bring magnitude and grief together.


  7. Victoria C. Slotto
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 15:30:22

    There is so much power, like that of the tsunami itself, in the brevity of you words and I don’t recall when I have ever read such a haunting haiku. Wow.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 27, 2017 @ 15:41:53

      Thank you Victoria. That tsunami was deeply personal to me because of people I knew there – all I could think of were pets being washed away and the sweeping away of cherry trees. And of course, the nuclear disaster that followed. So very sad.


  8. Laura Bloomsbury
    Aug 27, 2017 @ 16:55:20

    Profoundly moving both literally and symbolically for this monumental event – not least because of the diversity of destruction and your describing the tsunami as a breath is visually perfect


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