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.


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.


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


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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