I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

29 November 2010

Blame Hitler, Blame Hirohito

Blame Hitler, blame Hirohito, I don’t know —
whoever took war
to the beautiful islands of the South Pacific.

Blame them for the bomb
that simultaneously killed his parents
and deafened him for life.

It was Bill’s mate Neil who met Mendra,
and decided to take him to Java
to get his hearing fixed.

It was expensive. Bill helped too.
After that, Mendra was their friend forever
and the kids’ and mine as well.

He loved our kids and they loved him.
He was like a big elder brother or funny uncle
who made up games of clowning and mime.

The vocal chords had atrophied.
He could hear, but he still couldn’t speak.
So, as he always had, he used expression and gesture.

And he drew!
Those drawings were as good as speech.
We thought they were brilliant. Well, they were.

We wanted him to have a future
with his hearing and his art,
instead of the begging and the menial jobs.

But Mendra had TB.
I don’t know if you can blame the war for that.
He died suddenly, young, and we wanted to blame someone.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2010: 27
Prompt: ‘Blame ...’  and fill in the blank.

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