Fragile flakes, or: Ashen death

A haibun

I’m sorry. I am.

As the father of a little girl, I strive to remain upbeat, but on most days I’m only managing this outwardly. ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ you suggest, Frank? Charred corpses and the white ashes of a nuclear holocaust. I see children’s faces melting off and their bones crumbling.

Writing this doesn’t make me feel any better whatsoever. Quite the opposite because now I can’t unthink these terrifying words.

strewn with fragile flakes
ashen death across once-earth

d’Verse Haibun Monday: Cherry Blossoms

At d’Verse, poets were encouraged to write haibun that allude to ‘cherry blossoms’.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

74 thoughts on “Fragile flakes, or: Ashen death”

  1. David, no need to apologize for what you truly feel in these disheartening times. I find myself fighting fatigue and being depressed by current events and the threat of nuclear weapons being used. I think the majority of people feel this way. Take care, and be kind to yourself. โค โค โค All the best to you and your family!

  2. I teach at the defence force academy. My students always look so young to me – not much older than my own boys now. I wonder how they can understand what they’ve signed up for, and I fear for them.

  3. sad to read your thoughts there David – not helped by the fact that wp seems to have unsubscribed me from your posts -weird. Undid that.
    I can’t judge what’s happening in your family in any way, David. So it is only a theoretical tiny warning not to go overboard with pretending to be upbeat. So much grief for your daughter later to unpick because children pick up any pretense … Perhaps sometimes better to be sad and find age-appropriate stories dealing with sadness (through humour?) Warmly,

  4. Sad times. It’s difficult to put on that happy face as a parent, but maybe sometimes helpful in a way? I think we stay positive for our children even when our hearts are hurting.

  5. I can imagine your mind going there, David. A blogger I followed wrote a book called “The Last Cherry Blossom” – it was about her Japanese Mom who survived the Hiroshima bombing as a little girl and told her stories about it – she created a novel using her Mom’s memories. The blogger grew up in America herself.
    It is a very realistic threat – and awful to even consider the consequences. Thank you for being open and honest about where your thoughts went to.
    A couple of years ago my youngest had a dream of her and her sister at school and of them being told to stay inside because the air was bad but then even the building began to disintegrate and her friends were dying as they inhaled the “bad air”. She woke up petrified. As I sat next to her and held her, she asked me: “Mama, if I die, will I be with Jesus.” And I told her – yes. She looked at me with such relief and peace and lay back down and fell asleep. When all the talk of Russia’s nuclear weapons began I immediately thought of my daughter’s dream. It was kind of eerie thinking about it and at the same time my daughter’s peace at the end now covered me in such peace when I thought about it.

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