Hiroshima - 40th Anniversary

15 miles of ribbon
wrapped around Washington
bearing images of what the maker
would miss when the bombs burst-
a flower, a bird, a child, a butterfly
25 thousand separate panels
Hiroshima, no more!
Nagasaki, no more!
Hibakusha, no more!

The deaths and the deformations
enter the third damaged generation.
The buddhas no longer weep
and the heart is a desert of dollars.
The thousand folded cranes
are spray painted on the bricks
on Market street around Kearney.
Hiroshima, no more!
Nagasaki, no more!
Hibakusha, no more!

All these symbolic gestures -
While the bombs have multiplied,
the children have folded their cranes
the demonstrators have gotten arrested
the speakers have yearned for peace
the politicians have voted for more bombs
and the scientists are designing
and engineering them all - laser weapons,
anti-matter weapons, particle-beam weapons,
micro-wave weapons, bio-genetic weapons.
Hiroshima, no more!
Nagasaki, no more!
Hibakusha, no more!

What is the next act?
Is the curtain already falling?
Where is the deus ex machina?
Are all the heroes the agents of death,
avengers, and dualists? -
Reagan, Rambo, Eastwood, Bronson.
Are the Four Horseman already mounted?
The Prince of Peace riding in on a cloud?
Is it all illusion? or a dream?
Why is everyone vacationing in Bali,
New Zealand, the Fijis, and Australia?
Why the hell don't they write?
Hiroshima, no more!
Nagasaki, no more!
Hibakusha, no more!.

I've got a list of 25 ways
to end the arms race
but nobody wants to see it
no less print it - it's a secret list.
Don't tell the CIA!
I also have a map with
all 25 ways delineated in order.
Don't tell the FBI!
It's really simple­ -
Why hasn't anybody else thought of it?
Maybe I'll win the Nobel Prize for Peace
My unlisted phone ringing at 3 a.m.
A foreign voice asking for my secret list
I wake up in dream mist screaming:
" Hiroshima, no more!
Nagasaki, no more!
Hibakusha, no more!"

Are there millions out there
with their own secret plan?
Their hands atrophied from writing letters,
addicted to dreadful statistics.
Their shades drawn against the dying light,
waiting in the cracks for the small talk to end.
Then spitting the skull from beneath
their tongue until only silence surrounds them
as they secretly graffiti the night.
" Hiroshima, no more!
Nagasaki, no more!
Hibakusha, no more!"

©Allen Cohen, 1985 All rights reserved.

This poem is included in Allen Cohen's book, "Like A Radiant Dove".


This poem was written by Allen Cohen on the 40th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

August 6th, 2009 is the 63nd Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

notes: On August 2, 1939 - Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt concerning the possibility of atomic weapons. "A single bomb of this type carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory."

Six years later, on August 6, 1945, the first Atomic bomb was dropped over the center of Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m., by the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay. The bomb detonated about 1,800 ft. above ground, killing over 105,000 persons and destroying the city. Another estimated 100,000 persons later died as a result of radiation effects.

The Enola Gay is the B-29 Superfortress bomber atomic bomb, code-named "Little Boy", to be used in war, by the United States Army Air Forces(USAAF) in the attack on Hiroshima, Japan on 6 August 1945, just before the end of World War II. Because of the bomber's role in the atomic bombings of Japan, its name has been synonymous with the controversy over the bombings themselves. The B-29 was named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Paul Tibbets.

On August 9, 1945 - The second Atomic bombing of Japan occurred as an American B-29 bomber headed for the city of Kokura, but because of poor visibility then chose a secondary target, Nagasaki. About noon, the bomb detonated killing an estimated 70,000 persons and destroying about half the city.

HIBAKUSHA are those people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who survived the bombing but were considered for many years to be cursed or untouchable by the Japanese people. Each year, on the anniversaries of the bombings, lists of the names of hibakusha whose deaths have been recorded in the previous year are added to the cenotaphs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As of August 2008, the death tolls stand at 258,310 at Hiroshima,and 145,984 at Nagasaki. Hibakusha Testimony

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