Haibun for Hiroshima

There is an expectant rise to the emotions – to visit Hiroshima where terror blazed. Hear survivors’ words, see artifacts, and one-thousand colorful paper cranes made by many hoping for world peace.

from devastation
hope bursts forth in blossomed trees
cranes lift wings to soar

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today Merril hosts Quadrille Monday and asks us to use the word “rise” in a 44 word poem. It can be any form, hence a 44-word haibun today.
Photos from our recent sobering visit to Hiroshima. The Atomic Bomb Dome miraculously still stands…especially considering it was so very near the hypocenter of the bomb. A three-year old boy was riding his trike at the time of the explosion…his family buried him in their backyard with the trike….and then years later, exhumed his body to place it in the family plot and donate the trike to the Peace Museum.The sculpture is the top of the Children’s Peace Memorial, dedicated to all children killed and hurt in the blast. In particular, dedicated to Sadako Sasaki who was 2 at the time of the explosion and seemingly escaped unharmed. At 9 she developed leukemia and died 8 months later. As she was in hospital, she folded (origami) one-thousand paper cranes…the crane is believed to bring health and longevity. When the memorial was dedicated many people from around the world sent chains of 1000 paper cranes. President Obama is the only US President to visit Hiroshima. He made 4 paper cranes…2 are here in the Peace Museum, the other 2 in Nagasaki. I am so privileged to have visited this place. May no one ever experience this devastation again for any reason.

13 thoughts on “Haibun for Hiroshima

    • lillian April 24, 2019 / 11:41 pm

      Oh Toni…..we thought of you in Tokyo. We visited Asakusa, a very large area in the city with millions of visitors every year…there are Buddhist Temples and Shinto shrines within the grounds and small areas with tombs and memorial plaques to revered persons. We saw the tomb of Toda Mosul (1629 – 1706) Tanka poet of the Edo period. And most special for me, because of you, was a small garden area with a memorial plaque to Matsumoto Basho, “revered haiku master.” I talked to our guide about this….we’d wandered into this area of Asakusa on our own during the “free time.” I told him how special it was to see because of you, your haiku and that I’ve learned so much from you and that I write haibun and haiku as well. Our guide was 59…he shared that his grandmother wrote haiku and had some published in Japan….and then he gifted me with a small pad of paper with sakura on it and a haiku pen….you press the plastic cylinder and black ink comes to the very fine brush-like tip. If you follow me on Face Book you’ll see a post about it with photos of me by the tomb, plaque and with our guide. Thinking of you, dear friend.


  1. Mish April 22, 2019 / 8:10 pm

    I admire all of your travels, Lil but this one is certainly sobering….to channel even an ounce of the pain of those who suffered, to remind, to remember, to never forget. Thanks for using the prompt to share this with all of us.


  2. Just Barry April 22, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    Beautiful and poignant words. I can’t imagine what it’s like to walk among all those souls gone in an instant.


  3. rothpoetry April 22, 2019 / 10:38 pm

    A chilling reminder of the atrocities of men… hopefully we will learn a better way for the future of our children. Well done!


  4. kim881 April 23, 2019 / 3:57 am

    Hail intrepid traveller! I’ve been enjoying following you on your journey on Facebook and through your writing, Lill. This haibun conveys the risen emotions so well. How lovely to see the thousand paper cranes of peace.


  5. merrildsmith April 23, 2019 / 8:22 am

    Thank you for sharing your visit with us, Lillian. I like that you included both the horror and the expressions of peace and hope. I think we need to be reminded of what could happen–too many have forgotten. I recently listened to a veteran discuss his experiences in being a witness to atomic bomb tests in the American desert. After all these years, it still affects him, and he made the point that we should all know the horror and the devastation these bombs can create.


  6. Kenji April 23, 2019 / 1:18 pm

    Thank you, Lill, for disseminating what the museum and its exhibits suggest.


  7. Beverly Crawford April 23, 2019 / 1:59 pm

    A visit to Hiroshima, to Auschwitz, or to the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor …. all speak eloquently of man’s inhumanity to man. Thank you for sharing your visit to Hiroshima. So moving.


  8. Glenn Buttkus April 23, 2019 / 2:32 pm

    I can imagine that this stroll through history packs the emotional whallup of visiting any of the concentration camps.


  9. Grace April 24, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    What a memorable journey it must have been. May we always remember the tragedy and hope for world peace.


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