The Blighted Mikado


When geisha girls waved at the enemy planes

From open windows of bamboo homes

They had no inkling of the stark outrage

The universe saw a while later–

The world sprang to war a second time

With the power inequation shooting to a high

Setting a clamp on Nipponese fortunes

With Pearl Harbor prompting the fatal show.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the sequel

With entire biodiversity going to hell,

Nothing remaining of the Holocaust

Except ravishment and relentless ruin.

Embraced only by the fuselage

Of flaming fighter planes struck down

The blighted Mikado shunned dear life

And sought refuge in the atomic waste.

But this soon became a blurred memory

When he bounced back to enviable shape

By dint of labour and sheer industry

That rebuilt the Samurai’s defiant might.

The proud empire was the Orient’s pride

With endless treasures lustrous as pearls

Which seekers  tirelessly plunged to attain

And always returned to visit again.

An accursed soothsayer said the dire words

That history repeats. It was a foul omen.

Another visitation befell the nation

That bent before no mortal phenomenon.

Cruel fate plucked her out of euphoria

With foul interplay of land and sea,

The very benefactors that gave her plenty,

Now snatching from her their gifts and bounty.

The sterling folk never known to capitulate

Now throw up in air their helpless hands

Hoping to attract some heavenly messenger

Who would yet again reverse their fortunes.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast

And all is not lost for habitual sufferers

But nothing terrestrial would ever suffice

To spur these lives of unmitigated blight.

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5 responses to “The Blighted Mikado

    • I feel relieved when you say that all academics are not mercenaries. There is a lot of hype going with Marxism and it is sported by many intellectuals who claim to have new – fangled ides. Few are willing to know that the god has long been dead. I fully agree with you there. Atheism too is another brand of intellectual fancy. I stand for tradition that has stood the test of time.

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  1. These lines don’t reflect the Japanese stoic samurai nature. They have great sef-control. ‘The sterling folk never known to capitulate

    Now throw up in air their helpless hands

    Hoping to attract some heavenly messenger

    Who would yet again reverse their fortunes.’

    Regarding the Mikado’s actions, it is worth noting Sri Aurobindo’s aphorism: ‘When Asiatics massacre, it is an atrocity; when Europeans, it is a military exigency. Appreciate the distinction and ponder over this world’s virtues.’

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    • Thank you for the reflection on my lines which is most welcome. Your comment is a postcolonial restatement critiquing the west’s approach to oriental methods of action. When calamity strikes of any body’s making even might collapses before fatality. But then there are redeeming lines that speak of a nation that bent before no mortal phenomenon. When seen in the total perspective there is little to suggest defeatism, I think.

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