Cinquain/LIX

beware
of comrades who
consciously withhold their
company when hardships halt to
hurt you

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unlikely union

Hole_3

Looking out towards Itsukushima Shrine from a stone sculpture.
If you have been to Miyajima and know the name of the sculpture and/or its significance, please tell me in a comment.  My tour guide explained the lookout’s significance to me, but I was too busy taking photographs for the details to sink in.
Miyajima, Japan
January 2016

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

A corrugated carnation
attempts to coax stubborn antagonists
out from the moist recesses of a
commuted cavern.

wiggle – jiggle – aah!
Warriors clad in ivory overcoats
solemnly prepare for the long-awaited successors
to ascend.

Klin

Even though I am the wilted white owl that you now
see before you, when I close my eyes tightly, memory’s
magnificent and destructive spirit, once again, brazenly
advances across our land.  I will never forget.

A wet, hairy ice cube grazes my cheek as the morning
is conceived.  Evening’s wounds are still visible on
heaven’s forehead whilst ashes gracefully float down
from incandescent feathers.

At first, she comes like a cautious vulture, circling, stalking,
searching for signs of life below her ample wings,
determining just when she should strike.  We observe
convoluted flightpaths with apprehensive joy.

Into the sugar sea we plunge, swimming in
the sweetness issued from above.  Flapping and
squawking, Sister and I are swallows wading
through frigid rivers of crumbling milk.

Beneath an alabaster cloud, we collapse in laughter.
Drooping limbs sink into birch as warm talons rake across
fragile bodies.  Behind fluttering tents, salmon as long as my
legs leap from salty waters into our yearning mouths.

For three days, the world is hidden from us.  Four
become one, huddled tightly within a tepid blaze of
cruor and serpentine cipher.  Voices, low and uneven,
cry out to ancient skirts and beards.

Suddenly, the rage stops with one cluck of Father’s
tongue.  Have his coarse lips vanquished the conflict?
Under a scornful moon, frozen fields are embedded
deep inside glittering achromatic lacerations.

Long raven locks bleed between Mother’s trembling fingers.
Rough faces look to a star-studded sky for blessings as their
owners prepare for a cheerless journey into the flatlands.
A shivering infant howls from a lightless corner

The dust which falls today shall neither hatch swallows nor
bury ravens.  It will vanish with the midnight visions that
transport us to those imaginary, fanciful kingdoms, which
we often have difficulty remembering.  But oh, that tempest
of my youth – I will never forget

*****

Eskimos have at least a hundred different words for snow.
Klin–the title of this poem–means “remembered snow”.  The other types of snow which are described in “Klin” are shiya (snow at dawn), tslslo (snow that falls slowly), talini (snow angels), intla (snow that drifts indoors), tlapinti (snow that falls quickly), tlun (snow sparkling at moonlight), mortla (snow mounded on dead bodies), and naklin (forgotten snow).

For Bacha Kahn

 

High Powered Machine Gun

On January 20th of 2016, four Taliban fighters stormed Pakistan’s Bacha Khan University and killed 20 people (mostly students and teachers) just as the institution was about to host a poetry recital in honor of a non-violence activist.  No matter how dark the world is, never allow a tyrant to steal your voice.

Skytree Skyline

SkytreeDSC_0611

 

Can you see Mount Fuji in the distance?  This was taken just after sunset from the Tembo Deck of the Tokyo Skytree.  From the Tembo Deck, one can take in a 360-degree view of Tokyo at a height of 350 meters/1148 feet.  It is located on the 350th floor.
January 2016
My next post will not be photography.  During the holiday season I took a break from writing, but now that 2016 is truly in full swing, it is time to dust off my pencils!