Wednesday, February 19, 2003


Just posted this old poem of mine on Poets Against the War:


First time I saw it mean that
was screamed in big red slanting
stretched-out letters tattered with ZINGs
in a 40's comic, above a
heroic GI in the Pacific
diving for jungle cover, teeth gritting
at black lines from the sky caging
wiped out his platoon
left him alone on the island
cursing the Zero,
the rising sun.
I cursed with him, living on
keeping that enemy aloft somewhere
over that uncharted island
found again in the heat
of 30 summers later, a little
nomiya outside Ikebukuro
in Tokyo, sitting drinking
cold sake with salt
beside a white-haired man.
We drank together, he told me,
arms over each other's shoulders,
of piloting a Zero through the war
being a kamikaze volunteer
when suddenly it ended, left him
shamefully alive, the Zero man
trying to stay aloft for 30 years
now offering me,
the guy alone on the island,
more salt
more sake, saying
"More, here's more,
this is sacred--
One thing I have learned,
your life
is all you have."

No comments: