Monday, August 6, 2018

Haibun: Peace Memorial



My father told us stories about the World War II when Imperial Japan occupied the Philippines (1942-1945) and he and his family retreated into hiding in the far south, away from the city.  My grandfather worked as a spy for the Americans and being half-American, he was easily the target of the enemy.      

My mom's family on the other hand, had to burn their house.  A lot of houses were actually burned as they did not want the Japanese army to use them.   Those years were difficult as normal life came at a standstill and treachery was met with instant death by bayonet. Cruelty to citizens and lack of respect for women were the norm as evidenced by stories of comfort women.  So when the Japanese surrendered and left the Philippines, everyone rejoiced in the streets.  

Radio news would later on reveal the details of the full horrors of war and victory over Japan.  Freedom came with a price.   


i light a candle
for all war's dead - victims, soldiers-
ashen clouds linger-



Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - Peace Memorial - Hosted by pub guest, Frank J. Tassone.  We are commemorating Hiroshima Day with our own poetry! We are to write a haibun that states or alludes to either the Hiroshima attack, or one of the themes of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, such as peace, the abolition of nuclear weapons, or the horror of nuclear war.

21 comments:

  1. The true price of war is paid by civilians and soldiers on the ground. Your family lived through harsh times. I appreciate hearing such stories of survivors. I wish our species could find a way to live without war.

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  2. So very powerful. What an incredible legacy you have. The last line of your haiku reminds us of the horror that can still occur.

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  3. I can so see these two sides... the suffering of everyone and in the end the ultimate price by those who happened to live in two cities in Japan...

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  4. The horror of war—even a “just” war—is how it causes ever increasing levels of dehumanizing violence! Your Haibun shows this so vividly. And your closing haiku has such haunting imagery! Beautifully done, Grace! Thank you.

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  5. Hw awful for your family to have to live in fear of their lives, Grace, and for innocent people to have to hide and burn their homes. War is the curse of humankind.

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  6. The violence of war spirals out, touching so many people. We need to remember the effects on everyone, winners, losers, victors, victims. Thank you for sharing this.

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  7. WWII gave us the Holocaust, and the dawn of the atomic age. In the 50's we all ducked & covered, and feared every roar in the sky. Your personal reflections add such validity to your message, and the haiku was killer.

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  8. What a chilling story of the end justifying the means. So sad for all who suffered through this terrifying act. Here's hoping we will never forget!

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  9. Your direct experience of the horrors of war sent shivers down my spine. Suzanne - from 'Being in Nature' Wordpress blog.

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  10. You provide an important perspective on this issue.

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  11. I believe freedom does come with a price. Thank you for sharing Grace.

    Have a wonderful week.

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  12. There are so many sides to the damage created by war. Thanks for sharing yours.

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  13. Thank you for the personal history. This is part of the value of poetry in that it gives us the individual view instead of groupthink.

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  14. Oh the cost is so costly indeed. Coming from the Philippines, I think no country was right enough to make those hundrd thousands of lives worth killing.

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  15. "Freedom came with a price." A haunting piece, Grace. And a great POV.

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  16. History tells us that no one suffers more during times of wars than women. So, I am glad that you brought that up in the prose. It's rather rueful that the beauty of freedom was achieved through the horrors of those two wretched days.
    "Ashen clouds linger" is such an evocative image.
    -HA

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  17. Heartbreaking history that cannot be forgotten. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. There sure is a price all around when it comes to war.

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  19. How awful those times must have been for your family. All the horrors emerge later as 'ashen clouds that linger'. Well done, Grace.

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  20. Thank you for bringing this perspective, and poignant haiku, Grace.

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  21. ashen clouds linger

    Just shows how it had been most distasteful and unfair in most minds!

    Hank

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