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Thursday, October 20, 2016

KOKURA



On a quiet August morning
in Kokura
a child plays absentmindedly
in the street
as the plane passes
way up high.

The skies have turned cloudy
when only minutes ago
they'd been clear
and a snap determination is made--
too overcast to make the delivery.

On that quiet August morning
another child plays distractedly
in the street
of the alternate target.
The weather cooperates
and Fat Man
like his predecessor Little Boy
is delivered.

One of them survives
and grows to be an old man
who still speaks of
"The Luck of Kokura"
Fat Man's primary target
Little Boy's alternate
yet passed over on both occasions.

And while "luck" implies
a random roulette wheel
kind of universe
which his lady of lo these many years
is more inclined to believe
when she tells him
He doesn't play favorites
you'll never convince him
there wasn't something more at play
on that hazy August morning
as he steps out onto that same quiet street
with his cane
and gazes into the heavens
on another crystal clear day
in Kokura




46 comments:

  1. Fate? Who knows. Excellent poem, thank you for sharing.

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  2. Dude, I wish I could tell you what this is about in my head. Let's just say, I'm rearranging the letters in "Kokura." :)

    As is, however, this is a fantastic poem. My head just happens to be very messed up. Forgive me?

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    1. Google "The luck of Kokura."

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    2. I don't have to; I understand the poem. I was just being honest. My emotions are not easily activated, so I'm sorry for not giving the proper response. I'll do better next time.

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    3. No worries. It's all good!

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  3. Excellent POV in this poem. Kokura just didn't have the population Hirosima and Nagasaki had. But indeed, it is more than luck thevold man survived..

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    1. Kokura was a major arsenal location, and that's why it was the first choice for the bomb that obliterated Nagasaki. When the clouds moved in over Kokura, visibility was not satisfactory, so they moved on to the alternate target, Nagasaki.

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  4. you'll never convince him
    there wasn't something more at play
    .... excellent poem...

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  5. Oh wow! I suspected where this was going. Thank you for the history you give in the comment to Kanzen. Very well done.

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. I think the luck of Kokura may rival the luck of the Irish--:)

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  6. This is such a reminder, and the fact that luck is contrasted by other's misfortune. Poor Nagasaki

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    1. Very true. Who's to say how it goes...

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  7. Yahato, Nagasaki, Hiroshima ... really makes no difference 4 dat anthill we live in ... sum survive and sum don't, lil boy ... anyway ... Love, cat.

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  8. But some will always ask "why?"

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  9. This is wonderful. I can see him, now old, looking at the sky.

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  10. Love the perspective of this! The sad yin/yang of life!

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  11. Thank you so much for this.
    I'm with the school of "There's something more at work"

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    Replies
    1. We will always speculate about such things, eh?

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  12. Gayle Walters RoseOctober 21, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    I don't really believe in "luck" per se...but sometimes life hands you a gift and other times kicks you in the teeth. I like your story interwoven in the events of that infamous day.

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  13. Outstanding. Great perspective here.

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  14. I love the way this poem begins - gently and innocently with the child in the street. The name Kokura isn't so well known, so not many people reading would expect what comes later. It's ominous the way the clouds delay the 'delivery'. How poignant is that comparison of the two children's lives! It's that whole thing about being in the wrong place at the wrong time - or there but for the grace... Masterfully done!

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  15. Deft handling of an age old question, why with possibilities some things happen to some and not to others. I love the directness and how the poem starts with the innocence of an unknowing child to an adult who is very aware.

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    1. Thanks, Ann. As we are proving yet again today, it's the innocents who suffer the most.

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  16. well told, the luck of the alternative. and so he lives 'fat' and happy that his eyes can still look up at the sky. sorry for the alternative

    gracias for sharing

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  17. Ah, yes... little boy, Little Boy. This is great.

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    1. Don't you love the irony of those names?

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  18. Such a contrast of images.. Such a topic seems more topical than ever in the current climate of world politics.. scary stuff, Tim. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. The one thing I've always thought was obscene is the term "collateral damage" which refers to civilians being killed as a by-product of war, as if they weren't human, but just a statistic.

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  19. This is really cool, Tim. The turn it took was totally unexpected.

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  20. Fantastic poem. It brings up some terrible situations while maintaining a feeling of peace.

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    1. Peace always seems like the norm, until it is shattered unexpectedly.

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  21. Thank you for bringing this up again. Like so very many other war battles, except this one was zillions time worse in terms of casualties.
    ..

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    1. One of those little details that sometimes get lost in the annals of time.

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  22. Well it was certainly a great piece of luck! For that boy and that city, anyway. Horrendous of course for others. This is beautifully told, the restraint and understatement making it even more powerful.

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