contrasting shadows ~ haibun

contrasting shadows.jpg

contrasting shadows

Hiding under desks or hunkering against interior school walls were common occurrences during my childhood. The importance of those drills was driven home by images of the destruction wrought on Hiroshima during the summer of 1945. Death and destruction were known factors of wartime, but the scale of that one blast was seared into our young minds by those images. While the war with Japan and the bombing of Hiroshima were long in the past, the United States was no longer the only country to have nuclear weapons. Those drills told us that we had a new enemy to fear, and that the Soviet Union would not hesitate to use nuclear missiles to deliver a preemptive strike.

New players continue to enter the nuclear stage, and our world has leaders who do not hesitate to face off and show their bravado while threatening to rain destruction down on each other. Sadly, the specter of nuclear annihilation means nothing to them.

amid summer’s heat
remembering senseless loss
contrasting shadows

Frank Tassone’s prompt for Haibun Monday at dVerse is to recognize Hiroshima Day 2018 and the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony by dealing with the theme in a haibun.

Photo found here.

40 thoughts on “contrasting shadows ~ haibun

  1. We had those drills but it was for earthquakes. Still I can relate to that fear of the coming destruction and how indifferent these leaders are to the lives of millions at stake. Those shadows are always there, reminding us how easy to press that button.

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  2. Very good connection to the aftermath of the Cold War. Those drills really messed us up as kids. I try to tell my students now about how close that threat felt. They don’t get it even when I tell them that things haven’t really changed for the better now.

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  3. I have heard of drills but didn’t experience them growing up…so unfortunate to have that sense of danger hanging over you…we (humankind) really do need to extricate ourselves from nuclear war ‘games’.

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  4. I remember those drills as a child. Years later when I taught in Iowa, children had tornado drills to hide under their desks. Now we have “school intruder” drills where children go into lockdown and hide under desks or in closets. Your use of the word “bravado” is, to me, a powerful statement, as is you haiku.

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    • Thank you, Lillian. Some dangers, like Hiroshima, cannot be foreseen. Some, such as tornadoes, can be anticipated, but are out of our control, so we must be prepared. It’s unforgivable when they are foisted upon us through bravado that has no regard for the lessons of the past.

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  5. In a way, I feel better that there is not an American hegemony when it comes to nuclear weapons. From the Vietnam War to War on Terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, I don’t know what would have happened if the US wasn’t controlled as a result of the weapons wielded by other nation states too.

    I totally agree about this dangerous bravado of so-called leaders. Remembering that senseless loss is something we ought to do. Well-penned.

    -HA

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    • Thank you, Betty.
      I honestly thought those memories of sheltering would be something our generation would take with us – until school shootings came on the scene. And with world leaders out-bragging each other, it’s little consolation knowing those school walls won’t make much of a difference.

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      • I agree, Ken. Never imagined that we’d have so much more to fear decades later. And not just the violence in our schools and political threats from around the world, but the very survival of our earth is a concern. Something’s gotta give…. I do hope we can turn everything around before it’s too late.

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