Poems from 2017 Fukushima Commemoration

Mothers for Peace holds a remembrance each year for the on-going disaster in Fukushima. These poems were performed at the event.


Evacuation Zone: Fukushima Daiichi 

                      Michele Flom

In Okuma, where I grew, 

does the wind blow now

that no one’s there to see

how it dances the tall grass?


Does the wind blow in Okuma,

now that no one’s there to hear

its low complaint over the

windowsill of crumbling wall?


I dream two kitchen walls still stand,

where Mother steamed ten thousand

pots of white rice, where she kneeled

at the black lacquered table to steep

ten thousand cups of sencha tea.


A crow coughs from his watch

in the dead willow outside

the kitchen window. A last pane

of glass rattles in the frame.



Inventing Sin  

George Ella Lyon

God signs to us

            we cannot read

She shouts

            we take cover

She shrugs

            and trains leave

                        the tracks


Our schedules! We moan

Our loved ones


God is fed up

All the oceans she gave us

All the fields

All the acres of steep seedful forests

And we did what

            Invented the Great Chain

                                    of Being and

                        the chain saw                              

Invented sin


God sees us now

            gorging ourselves &

            starving our neighbors

            starving ourselves &

            storing our grain

& She says


I’ve had it

            you cast your trash

            upon the waters—

            it’s rolling in


You stuck your fine fine finger

into the mystery of life

            to find death


& you did

you learned how to end

the world

in nothing flat


Now you come crying

to your mommy

Send us a miracle

Prove that you exist


Look at your hand, I say

Listen to your scared heart

Do you have to haul the tide in

sweeten the berries on the vine


I set you down

a miracle among miracles

You want more

It’s your turn

You show me