Japan was alien to me
Until I met Yumiko
And while the sea
and years separate us

I never let her go

She told me once, Ninot
How beautiful your city is
Smiles so genuine
Overshine that of Paris

The lights of Champs Elysees

I took her to our streets
In my little rackety car
She had durian, then KFC
While we watched Cyrano de Bergerac

Oh we were young!

And when the earthquake
Turned tsunami turned nuke
I called Yumiko anxiously
To offer sanctuary

If she needed to flee to safety

And yet when she answered the phone
As cheery as can be
She will take care of herself, she said
And told me not to worry

I cry for Yumiko

For her strength, for her smile, for her beauty


For Poets United Thursday Think Tank.

I first met Yumiko in 1991. She is now married to Katsu-chan.
I pray for their safety and I wish the people of Japan
some of the things we all take for granted

h o p e a g o o d n i g h t s l e e p p e a c e


  1. So beautiful and touching, Ninot! My heart is heavy for the people of Japan. I find it difficult to enjoy peace and the coming of spring, while they are walking through the wreckage of their lives. But Yumiko demonstrates the endurance of her people - they have been through this before. On the news the other night, a sixteen year old returned to Vancouver Island from a school exchange program to Japan. He said the people were amazing - pooling their food, feeding each other, shopkeepers coming out with free food for those who had none. He said, with such wisdom and compassion, "They were just trying to survive, doing the best they could, it was fantastic."

    I worry for this poor old world.

  2. You have given us the real face of the tragedy - a face with a name: Yumiko. My thoughts go out to her.

  3. some friendships we attain in life are such a blessing and leave a lasting mark on our heart....Yumiko's strength is an inspiration...and your devotion and friendship is as well....what a wonderful way to open up our hearts to those of all lands and their struggles....thank you for sharing your heart and lovely friendship Ninotaziz!

  4. ninotaziz,
    I enjoyed reading this poem very much. It was interesting to read about your friend and to learn that she is safe as well.
    Thank you for sharing this personal story...

    Best wishes, Eileen

  5. nino, a beautiful poem about your friendship. You must me worried to death.


  6. So beautiful Ninot. I am glad your friend and her family is safe.

  7. A beautiful poem. When one has an individual connection to a disaster as you do through your friend, I think it hurts EVEN more. It puts a human face on it. I am glad your friend is safe. May she stay so.

  8. Ninot Ma'am,
    It's just great! A wonderful piece!

    When those images were running, I cry for those who suffer. They never had a chance. Now the nuke is compounding the misery.

    Am truely glad Yumiko is safe. The resilience of the Japanese as a people would surmount all. They've been known to be so!

  9. A beautiful poem on beautiful and resourceful people.
    How I wish everyone of us be given the courage and strength to behave as the Japanese did in the face of such a calamity..

  10. This took me by the heart, Ninot. My partner's mother is currently working in Japan. It was a crazy friday here in the south when the tsunami hit Japan. And my partner kept calling his mother and all I could do was to write a little note such as this to lessen his worries. I hope this did a lot to your friend too. Thanks for sharing, my friend.

    I don't want to read it as a literary piece. This is too personal for technical readings.

  11. Our week 27 poetry potluck is open Now,
    Welcome and Share 1 to 3 poems with us today,
    Your poetry rocks…
    Bless your day…

  12. friendship survives on hope and care - nice poem

  13. So beautiful! It gives insight into the pride of the people~ Thanks for sharing~

  14. I need not be good at this to appreciate your beautiful means of expression.

  15. sending prayers and good thoughts...

  16. This is simply beautiful and hopeful.


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