non-fiction rock from Aotearoa New Zealand


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Campbell Kneale - Hibakusha, 2010

Campbell Kneale - Hibakusha, 2010

Sit here, count the decades on two hands
Living in the shadow of no ordinary sun
Life persevered, I’m amazed that I stand
How did I survive being young?
Twice I saw two suns shine
Twice I saw the world end
Parachutes fell like blossom from another tree
Illuminates all once, and then again

Outside, go walk with my mates
Sky is blue, and nothing here seems wrong
And when danger looms, the sirens agitate
They called before for shelter
But now the panic’s gone
High above splits the belly of Enola
High above, death is giving birth
To Little Boy, looks like pure magnesium
Fed on splitting atoms, delivers a hand-written curse

What now! Get out of this place
Back to my city and family safe at home
Who could know? Fat Man in a secret race
Soared to Nagasaki for his crowd-stopping show
The worst luck, witness monumental moments
The best of luck, survive terror’s history
To be bestowed the cruel honour of the horror
To watch the blossoms burn in ignition’s tree

For Tsutomu Yamaguchi
March 1916 – Jan. 2010

A survivor and witness to both
atomic attacks on Japan

in the Second World War.

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