Hiroshima Day

A haibun for Frank’s prompt at dverse for Hiroshima Day.  Will also be posting on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

On July 8, 1853, American Commodore Matthew Perry led his four ships into the harbor at Tokyo Bay, seeking to re-establish for the first time in over 200 years regular trade and discourse between Japan and the western world. Ironically, on August 6, amost 100 years later, America dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima. People were going about their normal activities that day. Women were shopping for food to prepare for dinner that night. Children were playing and men were going about their business preparing to continue facing off against the Americans. They went about with living not knowing death was in the skies.

Suddenly the sky turned white and within a few seconds Hiroshima was almost obliterated from the face of the earth. The death toll was approximately 90,000 – 120,000 men, women, and children. Some walked after the blast until they collapsed and died. Others died of burns and being crushed by falling buildings. Skeletons could be seen in the debris. Still later, people died from bone marrow disease from the extreme radiation. A few skeletal structures remained standing, notably the white gate Shinto. “Photos” of people etched into stone by the blast- their bodies obliterated but replaced by the radiation remained. We bear a guilt so deep time will never leach it from our bones as the bomb turned people and buildings, plants, and animals into dust.

children jumping rope
on hot August day – becoming
shadows forever

shadow images of children remain when the A Bomb hit Hiroshima

The Flowers in the Glass

For the Camera Flash prompt today on Real Toads.

Still Life by Adolph de Meyer

The Flowers in the Glass
“My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature.” Anthony Bourdain

The cat jumped onto the table.
She sniffed at the flowers in the glass,
casually stolen from the restaurant
where we had dinner.
He left in the middle of the meal.
I stayed and finished my meal.
The waiter told me “the gentleman” had paid for the meal
and did I want to take a box with the remains of his meal?
No I did not.
I wanted to sweep the food onto the floor
and listen to the plate crash.
I left the waiter a sizeable tip
and when he walked away,
I grabbed the flowers from the vase and ran.
Now my cat is getting ready to sweep them
onto the floor and bat them around.
I will let her.
Time for another tiny cup
of *Nihon Sakari Gokun Honjozo.
I listen to the swishing sound
of the flowers being played with by the cat
and drink another tiny cup.

*#1 the highest rated sake in the world. Tastes like melon, green apples, honey, and the smell of peonies.

The Once and Future Queen

This is for the prompt at Real Toads, Doppelganger. We are asked if we look like someone else or if someone looks like us or if we have ever met a twin. My twin is a TV cooking show celebrity – Ina Garten. Except for the fact that I have long totally white hair and wear glasses, we look like twins. Except I don’t have freckles either. We are both plump and petite. Now how’s that for cool?

The Once and Future Queen
‘twas the oddest thing.
I was at the local produce stand
lightly stroking velvet peahes,
peeling back just enough of ears of corn
to make sure they were all small dainty kernels
and purest white like pearls.
A younger woman looked up at me
from her pile of corn and blinked – twice.
I smiled at her and she looked quickly back down.
Soon people were whispering and looking
as I was ready to pay for my purchases
when one woman, bolder than the rest asked,
Do you wear a wig for your TV show?
I looked at her in surprise and then asked,
Whom do you think I am?
She blushed and said, well you couldn’t be her.
You are southern as I am!
And flounced off as if I had insulted her.
When I paid for my purchases
the cashier laughed and said,
There was a rumor going around that Ina Garten
was here and buying produce for one of her tv shows.
I laughed.
My husband had told me before I looked like her.
Well, now, by tomorrow half of hanover county
will be saying they saw Ina Garten at the produce stand!

Our Home

overgrown Detroit

Our Home
“I’m a radical environmentalist; I think the sooner we asphyxiate in our own filth, the better. The world will do better without us. Maybe some fuzzy animals will go with us, but there’ll be plenty of other animals, and they’ll be back. Anthony Bourdain”

The moon is a peach in the sky.
The stars are sparkling grape tomatoes.
The cicadas are singing now.
They’ve emerged from their underground homes.
Watching the garden grow
in the dark of the universe.
I hear the nightly owl fluttering overhead.
With all the beauty around me
I mourn.
The orca’s skull can be seen beneath her blubber
as she carries her dead calf on her emaciated body.
The calf kept sinking as the mother
tried to push her towards the surface of the water.
So much beauty in this earth
and it is rotting beneath our feet.
The earth is an overripe peach
long past its maturity.
One day maybe we will be gone
and all that remains will be the skeletons of cities
poking through the overgrowth
with whales and deer and wolves
living in our place
roaming free and safe.

local peaches

Haibun: Ghost Cat

The cat in the picture is my boy Sam Cat the Ripper.  I had to have him euthanized last October due to a huge tumor growing on his heart.  He lived a happy life.  This was his favorite place to lie in the yard.  A quadrille is a form unique to dVerse.  It has exactly 44 words, excluding the title, and use the prompted word which today is puzzle.

Ghost Cat
Deep pink petals  fall on the wet green grass forming an ideogram. The crepe myrtle blooms are drifting to the ground. A ghost cat lives there waiting forever, switching his tail.

life is a puzzle –
a clam to pry open –
symbols mean nothing

You Don’t Know Me

I will be posting this on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

You don’t know me
As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”Anthony Bourdain

You don’t know me.
I have listened to men making crude comments
about women in the kitchens I have cooked.
I have been beaten, stabbed, raped and robbed.
I have lost people I love due to
Illness, murder, and suicide.
I have been in the depths of despair,
I have danced on rainbows of joy.
I have loved deeply and been loved in return.
I have eaten the food from a James Beard Award winner,
I have eaten beans and beans,
I have starved.
I watched my mother dying
and identified the body of a friend dead by suicide.
I walked out on being a chef after having won an award
and almost hung myself that same day
but was saved by my little needy cat.
A year later I watched that cat being stomped to death
after my home was invaded and she hissed at the invaders.
I have seen lonely days and nights
And I have been alone by choice
And I have chosen my few friends wisely.
I learned the languages of water, trees and stones
and the language of the French and Japanese kitchens,
the language of the heart,
the language of cicadas at night.
I have dwelt in darkness of spirit
and darkness of the sweet night.
I have scars on my body and soul.
I have wept and laughed.
You don’t know me.

copyright kanzensakura
Kanzen in the snow 1957

Primal Fear

For Izy’s prompt over at Toads. We are to take one of our fears and write it into ridiculousness.

Primal Fear
Fear.
I have a deep dark secret.
I see….food.
Food made from strange things.
I have a fear of going to potlucks,
To church suppers,
To reunion dinners with my husband’s kin.
Potato salad made from thawed frozen French fries.
Ice box cakes made from twinkies –
From Twinkies and cool whip!
God. I can hardly write the words.
Avocados made from jello
And sour cream with a…gulp!
A Ferro Roche center.
The horrors!
I fear food made from strange things.
People buy molds to make the
Ersatz avocado.
They may as well make a gun
From fondant and shoot me with it.

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