Swallowing Serenade



Their songs were sung without a care
for those who slumbered soundly there.

This morning, I was happy to be awoken by the cheerful songs of some little barn swallows.
Kofu, Japan 
July, 15th, 2017

One Thousand Hopes

Crane Collage

Please burn us when dark evenings yawn.
and joyful days will surely dawn.

I recently finished folding one thousand origami cranes (known in Japan as Senbazuru) as a gift for a friend who is expecting her first child.  This was my first time completing such a project.  When I began the folding, my cranes looked a bit bedraggled, but after making 150 of them, I began to develop a technique.

There is a Japanese legend that says a wish will be granted to anyone who folds a thousand cranes.  It is common for people to present them as gifts to family and cherished friends.



Excerpt from PotPP: II

Bateaus slip in; bateaus slip out.
All through the day, spry trawler’s shout:
Delicious fatty fish for sale!
Dispatch them down with frosty ale!
It’s been this way since time began.
Who can explain it?  No one can.
The years roll over cobalt shoals
as we tramp forth on patched-up soles.
Bent backs are weary–shoulders ache.
How much can bleary bodies take?

The peddler in that corner there,
the one with tufts of salt soaked hair,
has worked here since I was a tot
in that exact same sandy spot.
He reeks of beer and junky rye.
His reedy throat is rarely dry.
The people in our seaside town
are well familiar with his frown
but nary a smile have we spied
on the old peddler’s timeworn hide.
He snarls at children in the lane
and waves his wobbly wooden cane
while spewing vulgar, bawdy words
which do offend both men and birds.
The biddies in this market say
his soul was not conceived that way.
There was a time when he was kind,
before his woes had warped his mind
and so I share this yarn with you
about the lad those fishwives knew.

“Plight of the Peevish Peddler” is a 2,360 word narrative poem, written in iambic tetrameter that I wrote in 2014.  This is the beginning of the piece.

someone, please – IV (a kyrielle)

The nights that sprout between long days
have burned us both in countless ways.
We had to fly so we could grow,
but never shall I let you go.

Your laughter was a soothing balm,
which wrapped my life in Fortune’s palm.
The pain of parting now doth flow,
but never shall I let you go.

Raw wounds are healing piece by piece.
I pray your torment soon shall cease;
thy book has been a tale of woe,
but never shall I let you go.

Weak bodies break but rise again
to walk amongst the world of men.
To us, there’s nothing that you owe,
but never shall I let you go.

Please stay to know your golden years;
please wipe away such dreary tears.
We may not breathe a new “hello”,
but never shall I let you go.