Exhibit News

Particles on the Wall is excited to announce upcoming exhibits!


The REACH Museum

June 29 - October 21, 2016.

The REACH Museum
1943 Columbia Park Trail
Richland, WA 99352
Sun & Mon: Closed
Tue - Sat: 10:00AM-4:30PM


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Particles on the Wall 2nd edition from Healthy World Press



tonight I'm alone in my purse seiner boat, off Fukushima's shore

my nets are out, but I'm expecting no fish

even if they come, maybe the yellow tail, maybe mackerel,

even if I haul in the net full of fish

I must use electronics to count which of all I keep


I am a Japanese fisherman, my family are fishing people

ancestors go back fourteen written generations

they are buried in my small village that is no longer living,

just as my wife and my small daughter are not

it's just me now, and nothing pleases me


just before the quaking earth hit last Spring,

I was repairing nets on my boat with my partner

as the ground began to fail he ran to his home

I hung onto the side of my boat, it sheltered me

as the ground calmed, I started my boat's diesel, headed East


if fishermen are to survive the Tsunami, they must

seek the sea's shelter in deep water, the tale tells us

those words saved my life and boat that March

at dusk I returned to my flattened village, the smashed harbor

I tied my boat up to last standing electric pole


our house, its wood, tile and glass, was leveled

I tore through the trash, no one there

my moans joined a village chorus to the first night

I mourned missing Minori and our daughter, Mayumi

I laid down on my side next to our stone steps and slept


the sea water had slopped from my wrecked home

in the morning, I again look for my wife and child

those who were staggering around looking lost

were old friends, but hardly recognized me

we all knew the others were looking for loved ones


I awoke to the beat of heliocopters and sirens in the distance

with a nudge I felt our dog, Koko, shuddering next to me

he came from the unknown, dragging back with his black matted coat

I heard explosions near the reactors, but I was not prevented from going to Mayumi's school northeast of our village


the school was two kilos away; passing much, I did not stop until I saw it

destroyed and I with it; the roof had slumped to the ground; a silent vigil

gathering, digging, pulling... bodies from the mud

Oh, they showed a fierce love for our young,

the precious, our young ones mostly were not alive.

then, I saw Minori, leaning against another woman, both embracing sorrow


Minori survived by crowding up her office building's stairway

she watched the black wave roiling through the village

and thought I had survived since she remembered the seaman's tale

"Hiro, we have not found Mayumi!

We've looked everywhere around the school!"


that last Spring and Summer is now such a blur, such a lost drifting

Minori and I had made a home on the fishing boat on village land

we've taken in some of the broken family of my fishing partner, still missing

for three months, we searched for Mayumi, followed every story, every trace

from her voice heard, her hair seen in the distance, but no discovery


we moved the boat from our lost village and harbor away from the reactors

still burning, they gave us no hope that we could ever rebuild

we took in three orphan girls who gave us more hope that we might survive

all within one year of Mayumi's age, but she has not left our dreams

we care so much for them that we can plug the hole in ourselves


March of this year, Minori has taken the three girls and left me

I'm a now a statistic, one of the "Divorced Families, Fukushima-Style"

my wife has gone to my brother's home in Yonago, West of  Kyoto, where

she says, "the sun shines but it's radiation is friendly, unlike Fukushima's"

she also says, "the three girls are the most effected and then it's me

as women are more sensitive to the reactors' radiation than men"


I understand but I've told her and the children that I must fish, it's my life

so more than one half of my life has been cut out of me, and I'm left

with as a malignant tumor that no one wants

Minori says, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, even your brother and his family want you to join us, please grow up!"

maybe she's right, maybe she and the children are right to demonstrate against the reactors in Tokyo now every week,

she says, "Japanese people want their country back"


I can't sleep on the boat like I used to

I miss my family too much

I also want my country and my fishing back

I'm not a statistic, I'm a family fisherman

I know the currents and I know how to survive on the high seas



-- Tom Buchanan