Black Kite

I think of the watches in Hiroshima that stopped at 8:15…what
does war do to time? That it is frozen, yet flowing? I look up at

the sky. A black kite circles, a cloud waits, the late-morning sun
slants at deliberate angles. 200 miles to either coast, then open

sea. There is nowhere to go. A second kite enters the frame.
They float together. Orbits only they can see. A student is dead,

far away from home, in a battle he wanted no part of. Still. Yet
moving. The cloud stretches. Straightening. A shroud. A moment.

The news is incessant. Time reaches for it with long arms. Have
you heard a kite cry into the quiet? Like a whistle. Like a siren.

35 thoughts on “Black Kite

  1. To me, the black kite looks like the invader.
    I was in Hiroshima, and when I looked at the atomic dome, the mind wanders back to that day at 8:15 a.m.
    This is a short but powerful poem.

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    1. Thank you. Ah that’s an interesting take on the kites. I want to read my poem again through that lens. And yes, the Hiroshima Memorial is profoundly moving. Plus seeing school kids there- taking notes, standing in silence, leaving origami cranes – it was all very emotional and heartbreaking.

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  2. It’s altogether too much. I feel as if I can’t take it in, gazing blankly. Not because you wrote it badly but because you wrote it so well – indeed beautifully – and made it so real. (And I’m perhaps on overload from local events too.)

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. Even at this distance, constantly reading the war news and scrolling my twitter feed is numbing. Hope the rain and flood situation in Australia has eased with no serious damage. Stay safe.

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  3. The a-bombs brought an end to massive conventional war by superpowers – so we’ve thought — and yet the black kite of war catches in every divisive draft until the sky feels like an inescapable swarm of kites. Every nation has its own entanglement in Ukraine, refugees and students, veterans of distant world wars, concentration camp survivors and displaced millions … all awakening in this coming night and afraid. How helpless we all are against ourselves.

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  4. The thought of those kites lifted me for a moment. Interesting that the clocks stopped in Hiroshima…..and almost did last night too when the ukraine nuclear reactor was hit. A madman is running amok. Nafta is nuts if they think he will stop with ukraine. I think i have lived too long. Love your poem, Rajani. I am always happy when you link at earthweal. Smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sherry. Unfortunately, history is replete with madmen waging wars and causing incalculable destruction. The memorial at Hiroshima has many of those clocks and watches on display. Heartbreaking truly.
      All war, all victims, all refugees- we need to be able to look at them through the same lens. All perpetrators too. Very sorry state of affairs indeed.

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  5. I contemplate that kite, above the fray humans cause. I am rendered almost without words, at this point. None of us are safe any more.

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  6. “A student is dead,

    far away from home, in a battle he wanted no part of.”

    This thought is so chilling in its veracity. When it comes to war, those trapped in the fighting–without choices, without escape–are the ones who suffer most.

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  7. Thank you for this poem that floated my mind above the chaos of human existence and gave me the opportunity to reflect on my part in this world.

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