Saturday, December 22, 2012
REFSA Rojak is our weekly take on the goings-on in Malaysia. We trawl the newsflow, cut to the core and focus on the really pertinent. Full of flavour, lots of crunch, this is the concise snapshot to help Malaysians keep abreast of the issues of the day.
Monday, December 3, 2012
She treads lightly with hands open,
Soft skin brushing soft grass.
Her touch banishing frosty dew;
Her warmth, a spell is cast.
Like a blossom past a winter,
Red rose on bed of snow;
Clad in scarlet and white colors,
She walks with the river flow.
The old azalea sun did rise,
A gentle light setting life free.
Yet one more sun that day was seen,
Amaterasu, blinding to see.
Its warmth too warm, its light too bright;
Outshone, the bloodied sun did flee.
Surrounded in unnatural fire,
She closes her blinded eyes, hands unfurled.
Color fading from her cloth,
Lips and cheeks graying like a moth
“I am become death, destroyer of worlds.”
Grass in blazes, black from green,
Rivers dry, dew turned to steam,
Kimono burned off soft skin,
A wrath like never before seen.
Now, body charred, color gone, there she lies.
Once a beauty, now less than food for flies.
Kami= Japanese for deity
Amaterasu= Japanese goddess of the sun
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has always disturbed me. I took some liberties with the season:: August 1945 was in fact in the midst of summer. I made such a choice to portray the power of life, its touch and beauty manifested in the magical walk of a kimono-clad woman.
The poem may be a mix of fact and fiction, but I hope that the poem successfully conveys a sense of loss and grief. More than a rail against just nuclear weapons, I wrote it with the intent of reexamining the justifications humans often give at acts of aggression: be it in the name of ending a war, avenging a war, or defending a country.
Such immense powers of destruction at the hands of reckless man may one day be the deaths of us all.