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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Aftermath in Fukushima

In orange jumpsuits they climb over the detritus
Of cities and towns shattered by the unforgiving water surge.
They search for survivors, find bodies, hundreds of them.
They’ve run out of body-bags so they wrap them in plastic,
Light incense, say a prayer, move on.
Stunned survivors, homeless, look for their lost generations.
And as if quake and tsunami weren’t enough
Now they have to evacuate the area.
Mortally-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant No. 1
Threatens radioactive contamination.
These polite orderly people queue for iodine tablets,
Queue for food, queue for transport to take them
Away from Fukushima and the lethal emission spreading
Over the Land of the Rising Sun.

© Patricia Mahon

Nuclear crisis: Inside Fukushima's exclusion zone
Patricia Mahon has been published in Ireland and Spain. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from UCD. She is also a Healing Therapist practicing in Ireland and Spain.


  1. Powerful. What a surreal reality.

  2. A very powerful poem! Love 'Mortally-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant No.'

  3. What strikes me is the word queue, we can learn so much from this tragedy, like reaching out, having hope, and having dignity during all circumstances as the Japanese have demonstrated. Unlike the looting and riots of other nations during crisis. Powerful indeed.

  4. A powerful piece portraying the dignity of the Japanese people as they bravely face this disaster.

    -Light incense, say a prayer, move on-
    what a striking image.

  5. It's poetry like this that the news dearly needs in our day. Thank you for giving poetic voice in so timely a way to tragedy that leaves the world at a loss for words. Your words lift poetry to compassion, honoring these people, as you remind the reader, of the Land of the Rising Sun.