Psalm 121 for August 6, 2020

I lift up my eyes to a mushroom cloud
from which death came
and illness and loss of eyes and limbs,
the burning of skins and souls,

and the sorrows of the hibakusha,
survivors of seventy-five years,
and their children,
and children’s children,
and all our children.

I must lift up my eyes to that cloud
from which comes
the creed and belief that power,
greater power, killing power
defines reality
and the long fallout of that religion.

For my hope comes from One
who shares tears and memories,
and whose power
seeks to heal
the melted skins of all the earth,
and whose gifts from heaven
are never a ball of fire,
but only the weakness of soft rain.

God is not in nuclear arsenal building,
a knee on the neck,
a wall along a border,
a pipeline through a holy place,
but neither does God slumber
while power steals hope
nor sleep through new gethsemanes.

God bows low as a manger
at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
God is a child’s hand
that folds a crane by day,
the tanka a poet writes of moonlight.

God was companion
on that day of the “noiseless flash,”
and this season of pandemic.

Going out and coming in —
God keeps us all bowed for peace,
lifted for justice.

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5 Responses to Psalm 121 for August 6, 2020

  1. Deane says:

    I had a friend, a musician, who unexpectedly died young, two years ago. Anyway, she lived alone In this big house, and once when I was visiting she invited me into her ‘sacred room’ that had a magnificent view of a beautiful tree that brought her peace, and the whole corner of the room was filled with hundreds and hundreds of cranes that she was making for her friend who was receiving chemo. It was breathtaking, the care and hope.

    I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in the 1950’s, and our whole lives growing up, really, resonated with the bomb in one way or another. It was just always a part of our lives. Air raid sirens every day at five, evacuation routes, fallout shelters in the basement, X-10, Y-12, K-25.

  2. Pingback: Hiroshima Day, August 6th | pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au

  3. “God was companion
    on that day of the “noiseless flash,”
    and this season of pandemic.”
    Your words, as always, resonate in my soul. Thank you for the truth spilling over in your poetry.

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