Two poems by Morag Smith

One of Morag’s sketches

One of Morag’s sketches


Angel of Hiroshima

High over Hiroshima
midway through the 20th century
the sky rolled up like a scroll,
yet the ground, after the initial shock
remained perfectly still.
It was a time of prompt and utter
destruction.
Smoke hung between above and below-
rich, slow moving clouds
that clung to the skin
     the sixth angel held a trumpet
     its misting metal
     damp and ready to sing.
The wrath of above fell like stars
from where the sky should have been
and the gap breathed out
becoming a wind that blew across the land
flattening everything
it found.
The jug on her table
flew
-hitting the ground,
its flight met a perfect stillness
that broke it open,
it fell apart,
the pieces pushed across the earth
piercing her feet.
She fell to her knees
crying to the mountains and the rocks
hiding her face
from the great light that fell upon her
– the sixth angel put the cold, metal mouthpiece
to his lips
and blew.


They Came

Seven angels
whose backs had been turned
to the fundamental feelings
of men,
came down to us
          – they sat together
          on the dry wooden planks
          of an American porch
– how had it happened?
The lamps had been lit
and night was falling.
Up until now the prayers and offerings
had failed to go high enough,
          the tower-blocks
          piously reaching up
          only brushed the bottommost parts
          of the suffering sky
          – Chrysler, Reynolds, the Grand Tower
          crouching beneath the mountains

          the white flight-path       

          the aftermath          

          the Enola Gay          

litanies rise like dust

140,000  fleeting prayers
as heaven lit up

– sometime later,
as night was falling,
they came down to us

– seven empty angels
fingering the keys
of their trumpets, clicking, in time
with the crickets.


by Morag Smith