Forthcoming Fruit

Fertility Statute

This is the top of one of the two fertility statues at the entrance of Kanazakura Shrine in Yamanashi Prefecture.  This particular one features a dragon.
Japan_November 2015

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Household Songs: The Brief and Unremarkable Life of Joseph Clarence Strauss/VIII

Strutting secretly by my side
in his thick
licorice coat, King had been a most
loyal friend.

But, when summer sang, he
abandoned me at
last—or, was it I who had
abandoned him?

Cinquain/LXXXII

those beets
smell foul, like feet
encased in dirty sheets;
thank you, but I’ll just stick to meat
and wheat!

—–

When I was a little girl, I really disliked beets.  Now, I will consume them with pleasure.  I suppose that my taste buds had to mature in order to enjoy them.

Is there a traditional Thanksgiving food that you have/had an aversion to? If you eat this food now, what swayed your taste buds into liking it? Merely the passage of time?  I would be interested to hear your stories.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans!  I hope that you are able to spend the day with loved oneswhether that means family, friends, or both.

Tritina For a Beloved One

I watch a maddening display of fear.
Small anxious eyes peer out from sallow shades
while trembling at the thought of future change.

We are the children of eternal change
despite a long companionship with fear;
yet, hues of hearts come in uncounted shades.

If we should be reduced to bitter shades
the feats of ancestors, my dear, would change.
Shake off the ruthless mantle of your fear!

Rich shades of fear—stitched into
skin—must change.

霜ばしら/Frost Pillars

 

Frost Pillar_Final

My husband and I received these delicate, delicious candies as a gift this past weekend.

Made from starch syrup, sugar, glutinous rice, and starch, Shimobashira (霜ばしら) are a traditional Japanese candy which are only sold between October and April in Miyagi Prefecture’s Sendai City.

Shimobashira means “frost pillar” and the candies are meant to resemble the  small pillars of frost that form near the foot of Mount Zao during the winter season. In English, frost pillars are often called Needle Ice.  They are formed when soil temperature is above freezing (0°C/32°F) and air’s surface temperature is below freezing.

The fragile candies are packed in rakugan flour—a mixture of sugar and rice flour—in order to keep them moist and to prevent breakage.  The flour can be lightly heated (the rakugan should not be melted), added to a few pinches of salt, and then used as a topping for the candy, however, Shimobashira can also be enjoyed without the rakugan flour.

Here is an example of real “needle ice”.  I found this image at the following website.
themanageablelife

ribbons-of-winter

 

 

Invisible Threads

Ten hearts are hanging,
like an endless interrogation,
bound by passive restraints
under desiccated burgundy
tongues–lukewarm lovers–who
have forgotten ancient names.

Throughout the village, voices rise.

The faithful,
seared into moist pine, eternally,
live with us now.

Forbidden sighs gently graze my mouth.
Into this heart they come.

Household Songs: The Brief and Unremarkable Life of Joseph Clarence Strauss/VII (reblog)

This was written before I decided to turn the Strauss poems into a series.  It is now the sixth poem in the collection.

****

A chubby, bronzed thumb plucks
needless tears from
a flushed face, discarding them quickly onto
the ground.

Commanded to supper, he gallops
past muted white
bells as April’s fleeting sweetness runs down
his chin.

The Birth of Man

If we could but witness the birth of man,
I doubt we would see a master plan.
And to scorn the hard truth of who we are
will not transport us very far.

The book of time lives within our cells
and yet we devise such misguided spells.
This flagrant discarding of the mind
could seal the fate of human kind.

Of course there is much that we do not know.
I will not dispute that this is so.
But, why should a fish trust that snow is green
if a white winter day, he’s never seen?