Monday, 1 September 2008

Carp struggling upstream
Did someone lose their nice pet?
He’s looking for peace.

This is a deeply personal poem, with two layers of meaning.
After our visit to Hiroshima on 6 August I went running in Machida and saw a large orange carp swimming in the concrete stream next to the running track.
To an Australian it was surprising to see a carp swimming in a stream in the middle of Tokyo. My first concern was that the carp had escaped from someone’s private pond and it was suffering.
But on closer inspection I noticed that the carp was merely staying still and happily feeding on the bottom of the stream. Masako explained to me that carp are very common in streams in Japan.
This is the literal meaning of the poem.
The second meaning of the poem relates to the city of Hiroshima. Hiroshima’s baseball team is the Carp, so the carp in the poem is a metaphor for the people of Hiroshima.
The people of Hiroshima suffered and continue to suffer great loss after 6 August 1945. The people of Hiroshima continue to strive for world peace and a world free of nuclear weapons.
Thank you for listening to my poem.

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