Hiroshima

by. Dr. Shihab Ghanem

Dedicated to Poet Laureate Dr. Daisaku Ikeda

1.  We come to this life and then go

And leave behind us a memory, evil or good   

2.  Blessed are those whose good characters smell like fragrance in their wake,

And woe to those who spend their lives destroying.

3.  I saw the remains of old Hiroshima and was shocked

By bewildering destruction, so difficult to describe

4.  I saw enormous destruction unparalleled.

Even tiles have melted there!

5.  Bodies evaporated in a second

And those who were at a distance melted like wax

6.  Those who were at a large distance burned

And spent their lives suffering from radiation.

7.  The victims were mainly children and old people,

For the fighters were at the battle fronts.

8.  A quarter of a million died in a quarter of a minute

In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and burnt alive.

  ×  ×  ×

9.  They triggered the bomb at a calculated height

To maximize its damage, and to punish!

10.  A million degrees centigrade was its heat.

Higher than that of a raging volcano.

11.  I remembered the fire of God, Hellfire

And how an evil criminal could suffer and roll like a ball

12.  He will be given a new skin after skin,

For it is permanent punishment from which there is no escape.

13.  God has forbidden humans from using fire

as a means of torture. But they continue to disobey.

  ×  ×  ×

14.  Brother Daisaku you have for two generations

continued to hold high the banner of Peace without weariness or fatigue,

15.  Fighting all types of war and all warmongers

And all the fearful weapons of mass destruction

16.  Fighting the crushing of men of liberty by totalitarian regimes,

To enslave their countrymen and terrorize them.

17.  You have continued creating poems that champion lofty causes,

And producing photographs of great beauty.

18.  You continue building edifices for culture

Full of beauty, music and fine art

19.  And constructing educational institutions of high quality in various lands,

For education is a human need.

20.  For the basis for very human development

Is knowledge, high morals, and fine arts.

21.  And you are Ikeda, the philosopher and poet,

Who is certainly a star in the sky of the art of leadership.

22.  You have marshaled the hearts of loving admirers

And among them you are always addressed "sensei"

  ×  ×  ×

23.  I have seen Hiroshima that regained its glory

A city of beauty throbbing with light.

24.  And Kamakura and Tokyo appeared to my eyes

Together with Shikoku full of gripping elegance.

25.  And Kyoto was the Queen of Beauty amongst them

Scoping all the cups of beauty competitions

26.  I have seen a county which is a model of elegance.

There isn't in it a tree which is not trimmed!

27.  I have seen in Japan a welcoming people

That repeatedly bow. A well-mannered nation

28.  They posses high ethics that radiate brilliantly

With which one comes close to loftiness

29.  And I have seen Mount Fuji, lofty and radiant

As if the Japanese have suckled their attributes from it!

  ×  ×  ×

30.  Brother Daisaku I enjoyed wonderful hospitality

Which deserves a thousand thanks if I let my tongue speak freely.

31.  For your assistants have been so generous to our delegation,

And have been most helpful and welcoming.

32.  They did not even eat except similar to what I ate!

And that is unusual hospitality but most respectful.

33.  I also thank you for giving me and my son a chance

To speak about the Book of God, for researching for the truth should always be our aim

34.  In the Institute of Philosophy we had a dialogue

That was deep and devoid of fanaticism

35.  Let us all come to a truthful word

For all of us seek the truth, and the truth will always prevail.