I visited Hiroshima during the Japan stage of my overland tour in 1969. I took the pictures and wrote the following lines at the time. Now, with Kim and Donald sabre-rattling their nuclear weapons, seems to be a good time to revise them.
A city now, despite that frightful cloud,
That four and twenty years ago erased it;
Recovered from that lethal mushroom blast,
That Death-bright sun that burst in blinding flash,
That razed its every building to the ground.
A city now, emerged from its shroud.
A city now, despite the crime man made,
Now sleep in peace its countless shriveled dead;
Despite the fire that melted iron and stone,
The heat that seared through flesh and blood and bone,
Returned now from its passage through the grave.
A city now, with parks of pleasant shade.
A city now, where man triumphs again,
Building better than there was before;
No longer pours the blistering, soot-black rain,
That spewed like burning oil from out the skies,
Silent now the screaming and the sobs,
And all the wretched children's dying cries.
A city now, survived of all its pain,
The memories and museum but remain.
A new-born city, despite its taste of hell,
The air that killed is once more fit to breathe;
The waste of ash where shattered buildings fell,
Now blossoms buildings higher than the trees,
Re-built around the dove-strewn Park of Peace.
A city now, where all is bright and well,
But remember Hiroshima --
And the tale it has to tell.
Remember Hiroshima; keep it ever on your mind,
For the name of Hiroshima spells Salvation for mankind.
Man destroys then builds again, and the past is left behind,
But remember man destroys again, in greed and folly blind,
Another Hiroshima, means that life on earth may cease,
With no one left to mourn the dead,
Or build a second Park to Peace.