01 January 1970
#WeekendReads

Poem: Hiroshima And Nagasaki

The wound seems incurable, perhaps that is better that way for our ever-failing memories. Poet writes, 'That it has taught us failure,/ Loving it as the supreme futility.'

The city of Nagasaki in southern Japan marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Aug.
The city of Nagasaki in southern Japan marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Aug. AP

Not the kings welcome
To the frog dance
But we expected the guppies
To squirm visibly before incineration
In tide pools of rancid, radio-active water.

Time has taken on the unnatural glow—
Besides we are Qualified
Being genocide’s royalty…

And if we prefer coffee over tea.
Why should we brace ourselves 
To transgress in the name of utility.
We did not learn
On the long bus ride through Whitesands
That it has taught us failure,
Loving it as the supreme futility.

What prize goes to the penultimate fools
At reason’s lower ranks
If we attend too many bad schools
Only to give ourselves survival-thanks.

(A philosopher-poet Stephen Cole was born in Los Angeles California near the end of the Second World War. He visited India twice and it never left him.)