Sunday, March 11, 2012

Japan: One Year Later

The artist of this stunning photo is a South African cinematographer named Zeno Peterson. Her wonderful photo was photo of the day yesterday at Webstagram.

Ella, at Real Toads, has issued a photo challenge, to select a photo from   those she posted on the Toads site, or other winning photos here, and write to the one we pick.The above photo was photo of the day yesterday.  As the Japan tsunami hit me hard, this photo really spoke to me about the resilience of the Japanese people,  with its inspirational and hopeful message of reconstruction and recovery.

Reuters says 300,000 are still homeless and 3300 unaccounted for. The photo below is what the landscape looked like last year, but, while there is still much to do,  much rebuilding has been done. The Japanese people are well accustomed to dealing with the aftermath of devastation, one piece of wood, and one small cleared space at a time.

Atop the wreckage, 
a symbol of hope,
of strength,
of determination to overcome,
waves in the aftermath
of destruction:
proudly, stating:
we shall endure.

Each stick of wood,
each pile of rubble,
slowly is moved from the pile
and cleared away.

On the smoothed, reclaimed surface,
she sits, red balloons
cheerful and hopeful
to all that has been done,
all there is
yet to do.

Below, the ground 
the buildings are 
patched and healed,
hearts lifting
with the stoic 
and over-arching spirit
of a people:
we shall overcome.


  1. Sherry, I loved your tribute to mark and remember those who have lost so much! They haven't lost hope! I loved your embrace of these two images! Amazing and so well done!

  2. Just lovely, Sherry! They definitely will overcome.

  3. Never give underestimate the power of hope.

  4. You have given words to their hope...this is beautiful

  5. A country that recovered from Hiroshima and Nagasaki can recover from anything. We could learn much from the people of Japan.

  6. Symbols keep us going when reality is trying to crush us, many times. I liked that photo of the red balloons, also, so defiant and brave--and can it be a coincidence that you chose a pic with a dog in it? I think not. ;_) Happy Sunday, Sherry.

  7. we shall overcome... a wonderful testament to the human spirit, Sherry

  8. Beautifully done Sherry; and of course, you'd pick the photo with the pup! The tsunami hit me hard as well; I remember watching the live footage and thinking, "how is this possible? we are watching people perish in real time and doing nothing, unable to do nothing but watch ... how is this possible?" I still feel the sense of stunned outrage today that we have the technology to transmit the images but not do anything to alleviate the suffering ...

  9. This is fine and beautiful Sherry.

  10. Over here in the west most of us forget how very lucky we are. The Japanese proved how resilient and determined they are to re-build their shattered lives.
    This was so heart breaking to see but it shows what a little bit of hope can do.

  11. The image and your words are a wonderful testament to the resilience of the human heart.

  12. We shall overcome...we shall ensure...I really like this ~

    Thanks for sharing ~


  13. Sherry, I particularly like your personification of the flag in stanza three and the sensation of a people imparted, then further explained, in stanza four. Another great write!

  14. The Japanese have been incredibly inspiring through all of this--as conveyed by your poem. K.

  15. The Japanese have been incredibly inspiring through all of this--as conveyed by your poem. K.

  16. Sherry, this piece was a year in the making: poignant and graceful. thanks for posting...and viva la

    P>s> thanks for reading and commenting on my work at Nice Cage, you always bring a chuckle and a heaping among of dignity to any of my poems. Thanks again.

  17. it's important not to lose hope

    withered wanderer


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