Monday, 28 March 2011

Playing with people's lives

Masao Okabe spent 9 years taking 4,000 rubbings of all the stone squares of the old Ujina Railway Station platform. The following poem (now revised) appeared in my 2008 published book Genteel Messages (unfortunately now out of print) and in, I think 2010, on this blog. The situation at Fukoshima: In what appears to be a desperate attempt to alleviate a nuclear checkmate, also known as a worst case scenario experts from EVN (France) have finally and urgently been requested by Japan. We can only hope this is not a case of pride going before fall. Today's Japan earthquakes include a 6.5 (depth 6km) "near to Honshou east coast"!

Okabe's Frottage Sites

Okabe's pencil blurs rapidly over a surface

and an image appears on paper; every

stone leaves a unique imprint; just like

your thoughts.

There's a row of stones to see; square blocks

from the old Ujina Station; platform stones

that survived the time

of the dark face of the light. And

there's a map to see

with many delta rivers shown in red; it's

covered too with concentric rings

to pinpoint the centre

of the target.

Okabe rubs in other places; the Post Office

Savings Bank and the Red Cross Hospital

on Hijiyama Hill

around the A-Bomb Dome.

Okabe seeks to know

if there is a future

for our past.




  1. Thank you John. Unfortunately there will always be much for Masao Okabeto record with his pencil.


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