Elegy for Japan

Over the tortured shores of Miyagi,
a spinning uranium sky, full of ghosts,
those taken during lovemaking, meals,
while singing their earthly songs,  
whispering stories of their gone lives,
of the broken, the taken, the swept-away:
they tell of Owatatsumi, gathering the bodies
to his sunken necropolis, wrapped to sleep
in his ribbons of kelp, of children stolen by waves,
rocked to rest in the embrace of mermaids,
their passions by the sea, goods of their days,
of the polished mandolin, its gentle tune
carried away from long-fingered hands;
of the silk-tailed calligraphy brush, snapped
under the house, of painted, porcelain bowls
and carved chopsticks, separated from mouths.
They tell of the vanished, the interrupted,
of the never-again, and the once-was.
For the orphans with their bottomless eyes,
huddled on tatami mats in freezing shelters,
for the shattered man in the rubble, the frozen dog
in the mud, for Fukushima, Iwate, and Ibaraki,  
for the crematoria belching and billowing without end,
for the trembling, twisted landscape, for all the lonely dead,
for the parents and children, husbands and wives,
and everything left unsaid, for you, for you, for you.
*Note: This poem also appears on
Written by pyrategurrll (Lauren Tivey)
Published | Edited 3rd Oct 2011
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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