The Message of Hiroshima Day


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony & Peace Message Lantern Floating Ceremony


I watched the Gozilla movies the day after Thanksgiving when I was growing up. The inconic road, the atomic fire, the wanton destruction of Tokyo or other monster: I lapped it all up.


Caught up in my joy, I never understood then what Godzilla truly meant.


Growing up in the last two decades of the Cold War meant living under the threat of a nuclear strike. New York City was a prime target, and I still live in New York’s back yard. The terror of enduring a nuclear war permeated our culture back: films like “War Games” and and Mad Max series, the primetime TV miniseries “The Day After,” were some of a legion of examples.


Caught up in my fear, I never considered the only people that ever endured a nuclear strike.


Today, another Hiroshima Day arrives. The people of Hiroshima, and visitors from around the world, gather to remember the attack that ultimately cost 140,000 lives. But they also gather to advocate for peace, and an end to the threat of nuclear annihilation.


During this time, where a US President can threaten nuclear holocaust against opposing nations with impunity or a lone suicide bomber can ignite a “dirty bomb” that would kill thousands, the message of Hiroshima Day is more important than ever.


May we all listen.

rippled reflections

of a thousand red lanterns

a survivor’s tear


I am guest-hosting at dVerse Poets Pub today for this week’s Haibun Monday. We’re commemorating Hiroshima Day 2018. Come and join us! The pub opens at 3PM EST.

Categories: haikai, haiku community

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51 replies »

  1. Frank, this is such a powerful prompt today – and your haibun reflects this so well….going back in time to images of our childhood, to the reality that this could happen again. One note: “holocaust” – check your spelling. I don’t want a misspelled word to take away from the power of what you’ve written. Thank you for this timely prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so remember this too, and growing up in the backyard of Soviet Union, I always remember the very real fear of something happening… it’s amazing that I once again have to fear the same. I do remember the books that were handed out on how we should prepare for war… and just a couple of weeks we got an updated version.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Growing up, there is always this threat of a coming nuclear war. It is a sad to note that countries still issue such threats of destruction today. It would be really devastating if it happens. Thanks for the tribute to Hiroshima peace, and to world peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a child, I couldn’t understand the Cold War – it didn’t make sense that after the horrors of World War 2, countries that united against a common enemy would face up to each other and threaten such devastation. As a university student in Germany, I became more interested in politics, joined demonstrations and later CND. But it wasn’t until I read Raymond Briggs’ When the Wind Blows that I felt fearful of politicians and their actions. Thank you for this timely reminder and the very poignant haiku, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A master stroke, Frank–a haibun about Hiroshima. I enjoyed the challenge, and am looking forward to see what folks do with it. Your haibun was illustrative, relative to your prompt, and relevant/topical for the madness of Trump World.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you brought up the importance of the original Gojira film. People who have seen all the campy remakes write it off, but it’s a great and serious film about deep fear. Thanks for the great prompt as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaykuala

    where a US President can threaten nuclear
    holocaust against opposing nations with impunity

    This had been the underlying concern when Hilary lost! The tide of fear has not really been erased from most minds now that we have the trade war looming!


    Liked by 1 person

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