Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hiroshima Remembrance

The Rain

The land was hot,

The air was hot,

The people prayed for rain

To wash away the remnants of death.

Their prayers were answered,

Big, dark rain clouds covered the sky.

The welcome rain came down,

Thick, black, tarry raindrops

Fell from the clouds,

They burned holes in whatever they touched,

Flesh, wood, stone, steel.

People screamed and ran indoors,

To find no roofs on the rubble.

The rain continued day and night,

Sleep was impossible,

There were too many screams.

Then after several days

Of Chinese water torture,

The clouds rolled away,

To take their terror somewhere else.

Scott Smith

10th grade poetry assignment, 1982

Friday, July 15, 2011


In going through my father's papers I found this response to a similar question in 1975.

Sometimes we are stimulated to write a statement and lay it aside, then wish that we might share it. About three years ago I was part of a group conversation where pacifism and especially Quakers were being criticized and war was being justified. Someone made a forcible; "I guess the Quakers just want us to love 'em to death."

I made no reply because, although the statement was made for my "benefit," it was not made directly to me. I am glad that I did not get into an argument. However, I remember how that statement stayed with me. A few days ago I came across a written reply, mainly made to myself. This I want to share just as I found it:

"We are not asked to love 'them' (enemies) to death. We are asked to love them to life, but that means a cross and who wants to be crucified? I don't want to be anymore than you do, so I go along with the ways of the uncommitted or partly committed in putting bad guys (thieves) on crosses, creating Calvaries all over the world. But if we look, I think we will see that with them hangs the very Son of God whom we continually crucify with our ways of violence."