The Last Worshipper

For Kerry’s prompt at Real Toads, Art/Flash 55.  Featuring the art of Tomasz Zaczeniuk, surreal artist and photographer from Poland.


The Last Worshipper

“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray heaved a deep rattling sigh –
He stood at the door of the temple. He was the last
person on earth he reckoned.
First the oceans flooded from all of the melted arctic ice.
Then the heat of the sun burned the seas to sand.
What good is living forever if one is alone?
He remembered this beach’s name – Whitby.
He called to mind the brightly colored bath houses.
Now all was silent.
He might as well go inside and go to sleep.
Hopefully he would sleep forever.

Tomasz Zaczeniuk, The Temple
used by permission from the artist

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

karenohara 枯野原

ice falls. Brown field sleeps.
Withering wind blows away
life. Distant hill sleeps.

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