Lynn Strongin

               For the Hibakusha & for Lucas Klein, Hugh Fox & Anne Ross
                                    The Translator’s Hut & the Man Who lived in a Stove
Stanley Wade was no ordinary toymaker. He was a craftsman, a self-effacing perfectionist. His specialty was making model aeroplane engines and, in particular, the tiny hydraulic pumps that supplied them with fuel. These never blocked. When Dahl explained his son’s problem and asked Wade if he could build something to the specifications Theo required, Wade told him he thought he could. By this time, too, Dahl had found a kindred spirit in a pioneering pediatric neurosurgeon called Kenneth Till who worked at London’s premier hospital for sick children in Great Ormond Street and would become Theo’s consultant.
Note: Roald Dahl’s son, Theo, was struck by a taxi in his pram in London. He suffered multiple skull fractures.
His daughter Olivia died of a rare form of measles, which causes encephalitis
Only daughter Tessa was spared tragedy.

                                                PART ONE
                                      The Translator’s Hut

Hold Iris
The translator’s hut has turned dark.
It had to be stab-bound, this book Yuko, a hibakusha had put together:
Hold back flowers            thankfully declined            except for iris: consider this one forbidden violet kiss;
We long as we long for light thru a glass lens for this:
set that forth it is holy             it throws a purple ring upon oak shimmery as firefly wings.
            The stacked four dozen quail eggs in the cool blue light of the refrigerator
look like brown speckled stones under waves: how many times have we rocked the boat over this rave
for these eggs? This love
has enough long light to throw a cone down upon
Forty-eight aborted flights under glass:
forty-eight amazing saves, the landings
intimate as stairway landings where child in fluted nightgown tiptoes down
to blow the candle out the mother holds in the clay handled dish
& to steal her kiss for dream.
Just think, curled up inside the ovals could have been
wings, tiny as filaments
            the blueprints etched in. I consider three British children, one kept thru an amazing save.
the Dahl’s’ three children came from grace
Tessa, Theo, Olivia
almost come to gauze puppets. Tessa alone was spared tragedy. The daddy
A pilot, he managed to draw himself away from blazing wreckage from a crash
the translator, low on cash, hoarder vowels& consonants, language, that amazing stash.
Hold hunger, hold thirst. Even hold forth the kiss
but proffer lilac calligraphy, let your feet touch the floor, a light kiss forth the iris.

Hold the fort
the gun is no iris.                        Salty Ink is used for calligraphy beside the ocean.
I am milk & ink, thinks Yuko.
Iwo Jima
underground bunkers with steel doors,
underground hospitals
where eyes shone like lanterns
every soldier was expected to commit to die in order to take ten of the allied soldiers.
the island with its rich sulfur supply            smelt like rotten eggs
. Some of them had steel doors to protect the artillery pieces within, and nearly all them were connected by a total of 13,000 yards of tunnels. On Mount Suribachi alone there were 1,000 cave entrances and pill boxes
in the hospital ward beds were meticulously carved out of the rock walls to efficiently make use of the space.
this little island, the defenders were not on this island. They were in it
No foxholes to dig for irises:
the Americans were bombarded.
Who was who? The Japanese leggings were made of khaki, the Americans of canvas.
Step by step, the patrol slowly and carefully climbed the mountain, each of them later recalled that they were convinced it was going to be their last, but they made it. Little did they know, they were watched by every pair of eyes on the southern half of the island, and a few of the ships, too. When they reached the top, Lieutenant Schrier, Platoon Sergeant Ernest Thomas, Sergeant Hansen, Corporal Lindberg, and Louis Charlo put up the flag. Much to their surprises, the island roared in cheers.