Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Donald Krieger: Hiroshima Haiku

Commemorative Photo-haiku:

leaf-clad stone ramparts

phoenix trees where rivers fork

deciduous souls

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) is the only structure left standing near the hypocenter of the first atomic bomb which exploded on 6 August 1945, and it remains in the condition right after the explosion.


bright night sky

great migration

streets on fire

print courtesy of Doug Pearsall, Los Angeles


memorial bridge

ahead and in my rearview

winged souls drift by

Ed. note: On August 6, 1945, during World War II (1939-45), an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in World War II in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.”

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial, originally the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, and now commonly called the Genbaku Dome, Atomic Bomb Dome or A-Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム, Genbaku Dōmu), is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The ruin of the hall serves as a memorial to the over 140,000 people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Poems copyright 2020 Donald Krieger.

2 comments on “Donald Krieger: Hiroshima Haiku

  1. Rosaly Roffman
    August 6, 2020

    Truly special these haiku. Was there in 2015 with Japanese friends from Nagoya–the rebuilt city is eerily beautiful and modern–on the day of our visit–opening of a new Starbucks–ironic. No one’s the same after stopping in Hiroshima and especially after a visit to the Memorial Museum. Your last poem made me weep. Thanks for doing these.

    Rosaly Roffman

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jason irwin
    August 6, 2020

    very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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