Sunday, April 24, 2011

NAPOWRIMO day 10-24


April 10
Airport Shadows

Windows box
square frames
of springshine,

of triangles

for us to
step on

dodge or pleat
a game
hide and go seek


April 11

On Television
(a month after the Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan)

We saw spring drown
Without a burial;

We saw flames, rubble,
blackened branch just before

blossom-viewing season.

In the wilderness of disaster,
we might not hear your cry,
nor you hear ours.

It is not given to find another’s
hand. But for one quiet beat
in a poem, if only for that length,
against all reason,
if you were to cry out,
another of us,
would hear.

April 12
Tokyo Spring: early morning in Shinjuku district

We pass the Cocoon tower,
cherry bloom
in half-fluttered petal
reflected in beetle wing of glass,
swaddled by steel bindwork .

By the shrine and branch’s weep
wind scatters blossom—
a man in a black suit
puts down his briefcase,
claps twice in front of the shrine,
shakes the thick rope, bows,
the tips of his fingers press
together, prayer stretching
to the clear sky.

The wind sweeps the space
between us.
April 13
Near the Cocoon Tower

The katakana for cocoon:
コクーン(ko –ku—n)

ko: box, open on the left,
ku: an open network
n: a point suspended
over a rising check.

At night, you see neon switched off
And on the 20th floor,
It is unsettling to feel things shake.

But then I think of the railing,
by brick steps
near the cocoon tower:
instead of simple bars,
bronze figures hold out their hands
and touch: lovers, mothers,
fathers, children, link into a living fence.

How we incubate hope.

How in the mountains,
unbudded branch
and a patch of snow will trade
places: snow to melt
blossoms to snow.

April 14
Fire Ceremony

Smoke rises around us
drum beats surrounds us
rounds of chant unrough
one hand against the other
to one heart.

April 15
Swaying in the Bus from Koyasan to Riyujin

The sign says,
“swaying from left to right may be expected”

like willow, cherry,
in spring breeze threading needles
of tufted cedar.

April 16
unbloomed spring

Branches of knobbled joints,
thank you for framing temple gates,
raked white pebbles
around the rocks conceived as dragons
rising up from the mist.

Here, we agree. But then we talk
of death. Differ in the meaning of reverence,

I thank bare branches for holding buds—
invisible packages offered to the sun.
It gives me time to see
light painting the naked bark
with the pond’s reflections.

The wind shakes a parasol
of fresh bamboo,
a spider spins ribbons of silver

We listen to the heavy scent of incense.

April 17
Frog Singfest

In the roots of the upended cedar,
spring drips through the moss
and deep throated bullfrog,
a mid-range chorus and high-pitched solo.

Love overture!

April 18:

Blossoms offered
to the river,
floating coins.
Others provide lampshades
for the sun.

Mukai Kyorai: (disciple of Basho). He sought to write poems in which every word was necessary and none could be changed without destroying the poem's meaning.

April 19
Mock Mountain Poem Tracing Poem Monument Calligraphy between Koguchi and Nashi Falls

Forgive me ancestors.

mountain air blossom
heart with mountain breeze catkins,
spirit carved on stone.

April 20
Japanese “ai” means love

It waits the way kin hides in
kindness, a mute slickness
of fiddled fern, silent stones,
layers of mountain paling
into waves.

April 21
Teahouse Ruins on the Kumano Kodo from Koguchi to Nashi Falls

The old signs said
We have Tofu!
The deer and monkey have not eaten up
The vegetables!
Bath is ready!

On a steep path, the idea of such announcement
helps the imagination hear Shinto gods
chatting over tea with Buddhist entities.

Tofu squares of mercy, medicinal roots,
soothing heat of compassion.

April 22
Slipping through Tenses
(reflecting on Shikibu’s poem about not being able to enter the temple because of her monthly obstruction and the reassurance of the reply that welcomes her.)

What I had not done; would have done,
have done, or not,
do or not,
would do, or not
will perhaps do
tipping the lense like menses,
collecting, waiting, dispensing.

Now, by a high waterfall, white
tumbles to leap into a shower of
Dragon mouths. A sudden wind
gusts the sound into veil.

April 23
Coltish Bellyache

The sages know about hungry ghosts,
waiting until the clamor of spoons
slip into steaming soup.

It’s good to remember that thoughts
and food race through the body
like spring racing to summer
to escape winter.

April 24
Bowing to a Great Book

Between its pages
a garden,
distant intimacy of hands.

The eye, a sparrow pen
resting long enough to sing
words flitting from branch
to branch to string intent
transformed to reverence.

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