‘Fukushima Wastelands’ a poem by Ann Garrett Ashley

Ann read her poem on 10th March at the London Remember Fukushima vigil held opposite the Japanese Embassy in London and again on 11 March at the Remember Fukushima rally held opposite Downing Street in London.

Fukushima Wastelands   [ March 2017 – 6 years on ]

[ With thanks and acknowledgements to Lis Fields’ ’20 Millisieverts per Year’ exhibition and the film ‘Nuclear Japan’ by Mr. Hiroyuki Kawai].

Fields of black plastic bags filled with radioactive waste

stretch across Fukushima Prefacture

Deserted streets

Deserted houses

Deserted schools

A child’s pink bicycle abandoned in a garage

Geiger counters buzz as white-clad officials monitor here and there

Deserted shops

Deserted libraries

Deserted allotments

A tsunami marker stone stands firm on a hill in Tomioka

– A reminder overseeing this devastating destruction

The sun shines, but there’s no one about

The wind blows the luscious vegetation, but it’s inedible

Flowers bloom, but are not seen, smelt or picked

164,865 people have left this polluted paradise

8% of the urban and rural land mass is uninhabitable

20 milliesieverts per year is now the Government’s safe radiation threshold

Japan’s 54 nuclear power plants lie close to tsunami-prone seas

Their white temple- like domes and austere structures

gleam and glisten in seemingly pristine condition

They hide the deadly plutonium within

They are part of the world’s dangerous annihilative sin

Ann Garrett Ashley, March 2017

Left: Abandoned High Street, Chuo District, Tomioka, Fukushima; right: Radioactive Plants and Topsoil In Black Plastic Bags, Katsurao, Fukushima, © Lis Fields 2017

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