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No Choice But To Follow

Renshi Poems for September

Monday, September 08, 2008 5:15 AM
  
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Canvas

Posted by Jean Toyama
Monday, September 08, 2008 5:15 AM



An old canvas bag tucked in between tattered boxes
lying on the floor of the storage room crisscrossed
by cobwebs:
I’m selling the family house.

The canvas is yellow, splotched with brown hues
covered with dust from the ages.
Whose canvas bag?
I untie the knot that holds the heavy contents:
standard sized hammer, medium chisel, a few
five inch nails.

The rough surface of the canvas, the smell of lost time
scrape away the years and I see my father
coming home from work
tired, but happy to see us, his daughters.
We climb over him and empty his pant cuffs.
The sawdust of the day spill out.

It’s like finding gold.



It Was Like Gold

Posted by Jujube
Saturday, September 13, 2008 10:52 AM



After the fire,
an act of devotion.
Thousands of women cut
their hair for the thigh-thick braids
of hair ropes that lifted
the heavy spruce beams
taken from medieval loam.
Ordinary ropes would not have been able
to lift and have these beams loom over
worshippers in the Grand Amida Hall
after the rebuilding
of the Eastern Temple.

Of high gloss--
ebony but gold, more--
the hair ropes lifted the burden
of the women's attachment.
As I looked into the glass
display case of their sacrifice,
I touched my own hair
and thought of hair
that lifted the beams
up toward the open rafters,
up toward the stars
and up toward the moon.
Upward and outward
toward nothing
and the uncreated.




The Uncreated

Posted by Ann Inoshita
Sunday, September 21, 2008 8:10 PM



She lies on her bed and stares at the ceiling
while her body is heavy from a cold.

The smell of miso soup and warm squash
cooked in dashi, shoyu, and sugar
comes from the kitchen.

As she looks at her empty notepad,
she sees the clock’s rotating hand.

She stares at the uncreated
until words assemble and sounds connect.
The room fills with stories.

—Ann Inoshita


The Room Fills With

Posted by pleopard
Sunday, September 28, 2008 2:28 PM



images like a Frida Kahlo painting;
a woman falling from a New York city skyscraper
bloodied with eyes wide open, images
of brutality in a Dominican Republic cane field
against large breasted young girls shining
in their last breath, all of it for love, love, love.
Images of you and I at the cafe where I learned to like coffee
pouring over frivolous details to you and you
learned women were much better weak better
than they could ever be strong in all their tender parts.
See the flutter of her dress
see the dust rising from the field
see me look up with butterfly lids
pregnant with tears folded over like proteas, descending
from such heights into the shsk shsk
of Waimanalo brush and the wild eyes of a mongoose staring
out at us that night when the moon was full and our hearts were full
with the yellow eyes of a lion
trying to warn me.

--Christy Passion



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