Tsunami of Prayers…..

A very good article from the New York Times explains this issue of troubling design which complicated the Japanese reactor situation.

“Experts Criticize Design of Japanese Reactors”


I encourage people to read this article.  Sheds light on the present situation.
Lady Nyo

“Tsunani of Prayers”,  didn’t originate here. It was a small sign held up by a child.  But it seems this is the movement of the world to, in part, address this tragedy in Japan.

Someone said  they had become numb to it all; there was so much tragedy recently in the world, with New Zealand, etc. and I understand.  It’s very hard to not be overwhelmed by each tragedy as it presents itself.

The enormity of the tragedy in Japan just keeps unfolding: the death toll, the devastation, the pictures of the landscape and the people, and now the nuclear issues.  It IS overwhelming.

I also know that right now…I am feeling anger, and it has little to do with what people are suffering right now.

My anger is this: Japan is a small island with 55 nuclear reactors.  Now we read there is a possibility of another reactor emitting radiation, and a possibility of a real meltdown in the first damaged reactor.  And this isn’t an isolated situation given the amount of damage to the sites where many of these reactors stand.

Over 1500 Japanese people have had to be checked for radiation exposure.  This is surely a short list.  The USS Ronald Reagan just passed through a radioactive cloud and shipmates are being given treatment for possible radiation exposure.  Perhaps I am sensitive to this because my son is in the Navy, chasing pirates near Somalia.  I don’t know if his destroyer will be deployed anywhere near Japan, but I pray it won’t.

Perhaps I can express my anger in a better form:  With the obvious issues of nuclear power, and the inability of this writer to believe those who push this particular kind of power as it being ‘safe’, why would we continue to believe that nuclear power is a ‘safe’ response to the needs for the world?  There are other forms of power, solar and wind come to mind, that are lagging in interest and development.  These, to my mind, have less potential for such enormous destruction and impact upon life forms of  all kinds.  And why aren’t these power forms considered over nuclear reactors?

Japan could be swamped by these 55 reactors. The rest of the world certainly will be impacted by what happens in Japan, in the short term and in the long term.

I didn’t start out this morning to write this in such a way. We have a saying here in the South: “Speak truth to Power”….and I guess I slipped into this in my thoughts and anger.  I am going to try to turn my thoughts and actions to something more appropriate, to offer up a tsunami of prayers,  to remember the suffering of the Japanese people is constant and to offer up prayers for their well being.  I feel so lost right now, and that scares me.

Lady Nyo


I move my chair

to observe Mt. Fuji-

monstrous  perfection

topped with the cooling crust

of spring snows.

Languid movement

of a branch,

like a geisha

unfurling her arm

from a gray kimono,

makes petals fall,

a scented, pink snow

covering my upturned face

with careless kisses.

Timid winds caress

my limbs,

a fleeting relief

to tired bones

brittle now with

a sullen defeat of life.

Raked sand of garden

waves barely disturbed

by feet like two gray stones

as grains  flow

round ankles.

I realize once again

I am no obstacle to

the sands of time.

My heart is quieted

by the passage of nothing

for in this nothing

is revealed the fullness of life.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, from “White Cranes of Heaven”, published by Lulu.com

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31 Responses to “Tsunami of Prayers…..”

  1. Liras Says:

    The situation is sad, overwhelming and scary.

    But by speaking of our fears, they become problems we can mange and solve. Hopefully, more nations will see this cautionary tale and find ways to not become parts 2, 3, and so on.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Liras,

    Yes, the situation is sad and scary. I talked to someone who knows about these nuclear things, (he’s a scientist) and what he told me gave some clarity on these issues.

    Japan’s reactors, plants were developed during WWII to produce plutonium quickly, and later to power nuclear subs…they weren’t developed to power whole cities….the international nuclear community knows this, and knows also that there needs to be new developments in nuclear plants, where the reactors shut off when the coolant runs down or is derailed, instead of running away and exploding.

    The faults are in the design, apparently, and we are sitting with most of the same design in the US. We don’t have the severity of fault/earthquake issues that Japan does, but we have some areas where these conditions could do the same.

    Regardless….it seems that the international concern is now that we look again at this issue: and I would push for wind, solar, coal power right now until there is a total revamp in nuclear design.

    Japan is suffering a special hell. The news gets worse and worse now. There is a developing concern that the Japanese government has been too slow and too reluctant to really say what has happened, and this is not only from the international community…it’s from the Japanese people who don’t have a tradition of bitchin’ about their government. But the situation is at a crisis: the ability of search and rescue has been hampered by the radiation that has now created a ring of fallout 120 miles around these reactors, and the radiation apparently is even found over Toyko this morning.

    There is little we can do about the radiation, but we can help with the international effort to comfort the Japanese people. We can send money to the American Red Cross, earmarked for Japan Relief, and we can do further things.

    My husband and I and with my friends and neighbors here in Atlanta and other places have agreed that we will conserve energy even more seriously. We won’t do any random driving, we will turn off all lights, blinking lights (computers, tvs, etc.) seriously reduce the power usage in other ways: use a clothes line instead of a dryer, hand wash dishes, use cold water for washing clothes, and try to find other economic ways to conserve energy.

    That we HAVE energy sources right now where the people in Japan don’t even have fuel to cook meals, and to keep warm (snow expected today in some of the devastated areas) should bring us up short.

    Any other ideas for conserving energy and aiding the Japanese right now will be dearly appreciated by readers of this blog, who have shown themselves to be some of the best and most compassionate people around. What is happening in Japan right now will have a far reaching impact on all of us sooner or later.

    Thank you for reading, Liras, and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  3. Margie Says:

    This issue is so close to my heart. When Roger and I moved to North Carolina we found the perfect house, in the perfect location – close to the grandkids, but not TOO close (if you know what I mean!). The ONLY downside was the proximity to the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, less than five miles away. Well built, recently recertified, it is not something we worry about every day. Yet whenever I open the closet door I see the potassium iodide tablets sitting on the shelf and that is such a reminder of the potential for danger within walking distance of my home. It seems that nuclear energy is clean and safe — until or unless something goes wrong. And then it is soooo potentially dangerous that one must flee and hide to protect oneself (if it’s not too late) – not knowing when it would be safe to come home. Then, is it safe to eat the tomatoes grown in contaminated soil? Or fish in the lake? When, ten years later, you develop cancer, how do you NOT ask youself if this would have happened or is it because…

    So many questions, so many issues. Solar, wind power, natural gas, so many other ways to obtain electricity. I would love to see a wind turbine in every yard!

    I pray for the people in Japan – an earthquake, a tsunami and now this. They need so much help.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Absolutely, Marge.

    Everything you said here, expresses my own fears…and for our children, grandchildren and beyond.

    I see the photos of Japanese babies and toddlers, and wonder at their future. Will they develop thyroid cancer, something that radiation seems to hone in on children exposed to radiation.

    Bless you and yours….and all those children in Japan.



  5. brian Says:

    you render beauty to the moment…of great sadness…i like the realization that we are powerless to hold back those sands…and often the forces that push them…the close is exquisit…my heart is heavy, driving me to my knees…nice one shot.


  6. Laura Hegfield Says:

    And in the midst of the tragedy, Jane, the horrendous tragedy, anger and fear you were able to focus your own energy on this tender poem/prayer. You are right, this is yet another wake up call to direct our out of control abuse of the earths resources to wise and conscious choices.


  7. RepressedSoul Says:

    Who are we living on a borrowed earth? It makes me wonder if it has anything to do with the movement of the moon which is closer to earth than it has ever been, after all we stand on a sea of crusted earth over magma. So sad, and a moment that makes you feel so small in the grater scheme of things. Nyo, beauty personified


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Brian, I am there with you on my knees.

    I wrote this poem three years ago, have revised it slightly, but I must confess: I had to grow into understanding of this poem. Especially the ending. Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves, our consciousness lags. This poem was definitely that for me.

    Of course, people know the fatalism of the Japanese culture, people, and perhaps it is more than the transience of life that creates this in the psyche of the Japanese people. The constant fear of earthquakes, the constant rumbling of the earth under their feet, and the disruption of life this brings, well, this sets a pattern.

    It is doubly poignant, heart wrenching, that these tragedies happen right before the joy and beauty of Cherry Blossom time: yes, the shortness of the bloom, but the incredible beauty of masses of cherry trees blooming is a sight to see. It brings Hope.

    Thank you for reading and your heart felt comment, Brian.

    Lady Nyo


  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Laura.

    I was tremendously angry, still am. We sacrifice life for what purpose?

    We sacrifice the Earth around us.

    My only hope is that the Japanese people recover and these weighty issues are resolved for the future. It will take a lot, internationally. The people of this tiny island have been through so much, but they are such generous people!

    Thank you for reading and your lovely and true comment, Laura. I can’t stop crying.

    Lady Nyo


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Repressed Soul.

    We are so small in the greater scheme of things, but that doesn’t mean we have no responsibilities to each other. I have been so distressed, heart broken by what I have seen there, but I know the Japanese people to be gracious, kind and generous. They will survive, but we need to help in whatever ways we can. Prayer, of any kind, is the first start.

    Blessings on you,

    Lady Nyo


  11. Carys Says:

    This stilled me Jane. A quiet yet powerful piece of writing.


  12. hedgewitch Says:

    Beautiful poem, and very true words. As this disaster at the power plant has been unfolding, and I listen to the statements coming out, I keep thinking of the recent Gulf Oil spill, and how the same company that had no provisions for failure wants to drill an even deeper well a few miles further off shore. It seems the greed is insatiable, and that we on whom the burdens fall, here and in Japan, are helpless to prevent all the ‘worst case scenarios’ that are never supposed to happen but always do. No one could be expected to withstand the brutal earthquake and tsunami, but someone might have made a different decision about going with nuclear power. Tragic, and everyone must feel for the innocent suffering this compound disaster.


  13. Joe Hesch Says:

    As moved as I was by your beautiful poem, I was even more by the heartfelt expression in your commentary. Not to sound too flippant, but I came for the poetry and stayed to hear Laura. Thank you for both, Lady Nyo.


  14. moondustwriter Says:

    I am no obstacle to the passing of time … Indeed

    I have been pondering the nuclear reactor situation since the beginning and again with a friend in the past day or two and things are starting to unravel.

    Can’t were learn from the Chernobyls of the world??
    Thanks for the statement – many will suffer


  15. hpicasso Says:

    we have a saying in the South…”tell it like it is”

    you have

    Peace, hp


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, hpicasso.


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Moonie…yes, definitely, many will suffer. Isn’t it ironic that in the first country bombed with atomic power, they have embraced atomic power to such an extent in this tiny and trembling nation? Boggles the mind.

    The situation is not over, and in fact, the Japanese government is not exactly transparent as to the situation. There are now rumblings amongst the Japanese about this, and they are right to do so.

    In my comment to Marge, I think, I wrote about the information given to me by a scientist who knows his books about nuclear energy….he’s been there: and apparently it’s a question of the original design and purpose of those reactors, many of them, in Japan. they were never supposed to power whole cities and regions. They sorely need redesign. But we will see international mouthpieces proclaiming the safety of nuclear power, even though this should be a wake up call for all of us.

    Wind power, solar power….coal…whatever, natural gas. Better than what the Japanese children are facing with thyroid cancer in a few years. The radiation is more than they are letting on.

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Joe…well, I am so angry right now and I know it’s a cover for my grief and sorrow. I will balance it out sooner or later.

    Thank you for reading and your lovely comment, Joe.

    Lady Nyo


  19. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Hedgewitch,

    I agree totally. It’s a bad situation, especially in Japan. A small nation with few natural resources, dependent upon a nuclear power based on earthquake terrain. Not good.

    I ask people to join me in reducing for a definite purpose, in solidarity with the people of Japan, our usage of energy sources: I am going to make as many cuts here as I can. I know the internet is a lifeline for me…and my writing….as it is with so many of us….but we can cut the fat.

    I am also interested in this Poets United for Japan? I think this would be a good source for those of us who are poets to support. I’ll investigate it further, but it can’t hurt.

    Thank you, for reading and your solid comment.

    Lady Nyo


  20. Mama Zen Says:

    “I am no obstacle to

    the sands of time.”

    That is breathtaking.


  21. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Mama Zen. I think age helps in this realization.

    Lady Nyo


  22. Shashi Says:

    Dear Jane

    I could feel the anguish and despair in you and I am with you. may the peace be…

    ॐ शांति ॐ
    Om Shanti Om
    May peace be… pray for People of Japan
    Connect me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay


  23. Claudia Says:

    this poem carries a breath-taking vastness


  24. Belinda Says:

    Beautiful, Lady Nyo. A disaster like this serves as a mobilization tool; so many of us are moved to give and to help those who are in need. It’s also a powerful reminder that, for all our ability to build nuclear plants, bullet trains and intricate highways, mother nature is still in charge. I remain hopeful, though I don’t know how long, that humanity will wake up and stay awake instead of slumbering back to the status quo in which we deny the painful and tragic reality of the conditions we have created for ourselves.


  25. ladynyo Says:

    Belinda, I have come to realize something: we can beat the drum out there just so long. What are we doing in our own lives? Montreal has cheap electricity…and that shouldn’t mean waste…but it does.
    We have lived with cheap oil for too long, and we whine when we have to pay what others do in Europe.

    I say we need to clean house, each one of us. If we started in our own backyard, and planted our gardens with a serious intent to nourish and feed our families from these fruits of our labor, we could make miracles here.

    Thank you for reading and your very good comment.

    Lady Nyo


  26. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Claudia….I had to grow into it before I understood what I wrote….

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  27. ladynyo Says:

    Right with you, Shashi.




  28. Kavita Says:

    My prayers are with all in Japan and everyone that has anything to do with the the recent tragedy there… And I pray for your brave son and all the wonderful people that are doing all they can to help…
    I agree with you about the alternative sources of power… unstable materials should be kept away as far as possible.. I believe in this.. period!

    Your poem spoke volumes, Lady Nyo.. it was like a loud silent cry… very moving..

    Peace to you, my friend..


  29. ladynyo Says:

    And peace to you, Kavita.


    Lady Nyo


  30. alee9 Says:

    Simple yet compelling lines…your prayers strike deep in the core where we’ve been feeling so fragile yet so one with a grieving humanity. Thank you, Lady Nyo!


  31. ladynyo Says:

    “So fragile”. Exactly.

    Thank you for reading and this comment.

    Lady Nyo


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