Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Big Island: unforgettable

Goddess of Fire

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Stumbling amidst razors of obsidian suspended by crimson veins,

I stare at Pele’s power to transform.

As shadows deepen, blindness threatens,

live scarlet flows glow, reshaping cliffs, forming a maze.

We dare to hike nine shaky miles on silica spikes

in search of earthly understanding.

While Pu’u OO is shaping Hawaii

blisters form on soles, fears arise in puffs,

rotten egg odors invade nostrils.

“Pele, I struggle to find my true purpose.

Your force and persistence impress me.”

Must I walk on fire, endure pain,

accept sadness, survive a century?”

“Naturally, I create so your spirit can soar,

I deliver newborn earth, just as woman delivers young.

Walking mindfully quiets the chatter sister,

Insight will bubble up like lava.”

 

                                   Snapshots of Japan

                               

Village Life

Lush, lime rice fields blanket all available spaces,

bounded by tile roofs delicately curled, bullet train tracks,

vegetable patches dotted with bobbing wicker saucers

atop determined gardeners worshipping their food.

Gorge

Rivers swish furiously past stubborn rock islands,

fountains plunge into foamy life-giving ribbons,

forceful, daring to be tamed, transformed into

meals served by kneeling women wrapped like presents.

Scene in a window

Caring mother allows doll-faced daughter to gaze

bathed by moisture-rich bamboo breezes,

as obsidian locks are combed perfectly,

grooming the next feminine generation.

 

Gion Festival

Thousand year-old ritual, ten-ton wooden floats

propelled by the force of one hundred feet

creak along Kyoto streets past high-rise edifices

begging for relief from plagues.

Nara

Scurrying citizens reach stations, schools, shrines

passing sushi stands and internet cubicles,

while free-roaming sacred deer nod “kudasai”,

“please” feed me, cultivate gardens,

revere Buddha

Tokyo

Within a glittering ImperialPalace

Emperor Showa paces, only a daughter to succeed

Crucial problems persist so she must lead

Japanese will survive on precarious islands.

 

 

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