Thursday, April 28, 2016

David Allen writes

Okinawa Morning

7 a.m.
The sun rises
lazily over Ishikawa,
blazing yellow bands of sunlight
spread apart the curtain of clouds
that enclosed the city in darkness;
suffused sunbeams cast rays
upon the warm waters of the bay,
where an oil tanker glides slowly
over the mirror-smooth surface,
winding its way
to a finger of a pier jutting
out from the rocky shore.
Up here, on a hill far above
the awakening city, a hawk
slips by on an updraft
and mourning doves coo,
silencing the tree frogs and geckos
who cloaked the night with their croaking
cacophonous clamor.
When the cooing halts, I can hear
the gentle whisper of the wind
caressing the jungle foliage of our hillside retreat.
Directly below, no one invades the
calm of the dew-covered golf course,
its luscious greens pale compared to the riot of
the hundred shades of green
of the jungle and the sugar cane
and tea fields that blanket
the land leading to the bay.
Yellow hibiscus flowers open
and bid “Ohaiyo gozaimasu,
genki desu ka?”

Ah, it’s morning at the Cabin Serendip
and all is “genki desu.”  


1 comment:

  1. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allied forces approached Japan in the waning months of World War II and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi (550 km) away from the main islands, as a base for air operations. The 82-day campaign (1 April-22 June 1945, codenamed Operation Iceberg) was a series of engagements that included the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War, by 185,000 troops. The battle of Okinawa has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, and "tetsu no ame" (rain of steel) or "tetsu no bōfū" (violent wind of steel) in Japanese, in reference to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks by the Japanese defenders, and the numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The Allies forces suffered 14,009 deaths (over 12,500 Americans killed or missing) and over 82,000 casualties of all kinds (not including several thousand who died after the battle ended. Allied grave registration forces counted 110,071 dead Japanese bodies, but Japan's official count was 77,166 soldiers (plus more civilians and supporting naval or air force personnel based elsewhere). Another 42,000 to 150,000 local civilians (including all males over 18 and male and female students under that age who were drafted to fight the invasion) were killed or committed suicide or were not accounted for; the pre-war was only estimated at 300,000. Ishikawa was founded on September 26, 1945, as the initial organization of local government immediately after the war. It was named after the nearby Mt. Ishikawa and the Ishikawa river. The island was controlled by the United States Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands for 27 years, and the Americans continue to hold major military bases. On the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the battle, Ishakawa merged with Gushikawa, Katsuren, and Yonashiro to create the city of Uruma. American bases cover 12.97% of the city's area. The US military maintains exclusive control over various beaches, golf courses, and other recreational areas. The Japanese phrase is "Good morning. How are you?"


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