Posts Tagged ‘radiation’

Remembering the Tsunami in Japan

March 21, 2014
Peach blossoms in the back yard.  Spring

Peach blossoms in the back yard. Spring


Three years ago this spring,  Japan was hit with a devestating tsunami.  Death and destruction of course followed, and the world watched.  The Japanese people rallied and set an example of courage and  fortitude  as they faced the aftermath of this tsunami.  Today, the scars still remain and there are areas in the North East Japan where it is a stripped no-man’s land.  Of course the radiation from the reactors were a big part of  this, but the waters came inland over a mile and took people, buildings, etc. mostly back into the sea. The death toll was horrendous.  Today, Japan is still recovering, but these are a strong people and look towards the future with hope.

I remember my own sorrow upon learning about the tsunami.  Poetry was the only way I could answer the flood of my own feelings.  It is so little enough, but the only way I had.

Lady Nyo 





The moon tonight

Blood orange orb

Duenna of the cosmos

Looms in a velvet sky.


Slipping her moorings

She floats closer to earth

A commanding  presence

Creating wonderment beneath

And pulling our eyes  to Heaven.



Is there a moon viewing party

In Japan tonight?

Destruction, sorrow

Covers the land,

Despair, loss

Regulates the heart.


Perhaps the moon presence

Is of little interest

And less comfort.

Perhaps sorrow goes too deep

To raise eyes above the graves.



Her gleam falls upon all

A compassionate blanketing

Of the Earth,

Softening the soiled,

Ravaged landscape,

A beacon of promise

Of the return to life,

Beauty to nature.




Two weeks and the cherry blossoms

Would have opened in Sendai.

Beautiful clouds of scented prayers

Falling upon upturned faces,

The eternal promise of hope for the earth,

Swept out to sea

With a good part of humanity.


I will sit beneath the moon tonight

Listening to frogs sing,

An owl in the woods

The birds settling in the dark—


My cherry tree is blooming

A small cloud of satin blossom–

I will count falling petals,

And offer these up as prayers.


Jane Kohut-Bartels,

Copyrighted 2011-2014

Tsunami of Prayers…..

March 14, 2011

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

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