Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Thoughts

by Tamara Passey

The people of Japan have been in my thoughts and prayers these past few days. The shock has given way to sadness and even dread with the ongoing nuclear crisis. I saw a report last night that highlighted the orderliness and great calm the Japanese people have demonstrated, even distributing supplies evenly among themselves when they came upon shortages. Not exactly what we see here.

I remembered a short poem I wrote after the Tsunami in December of 2005.
I realize I may not have any shirts made in Japan, but I think the sentiment is similar.


India and Thailand with ocean shores
So far from my dry desert home
If I hadn’t heard the news reports of you
I wouldn’t have known
I couldn’t have known, or believed
How many lives you lost
To waves travelling at jet-plane speeds
My desert life goes on uninterrupted
No un-channeled water here.

Until I pull the iron out to press some laundry and
Open the collar of a clean white shirt
And there on the tag are those oft ignored words
Made in Sri Lanka

While the iron steams in my motionless hand
All I can think is that this someone made this shirt across that ocean
And I wonder amid the news-report scenes of destruction
Replaying in my mind
Is the factory is still there? Are the people still alive?
Do they still have a home?
And with as little warning as Mother Nature gives
One drop, then two, and
I am taken over by a wave of tears in the desert.


  1. Beautiful poetry! My son reminded me the other night that I needed to pray for the people in Japan. It's horrible that tragedy upon tragedy has unfolded this way for them. All those good people. Thank you for posting this.



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