Dragonfly

The rotting corpse of a dragonfly
Hangs over hung-headed commuters
Like a pterodactyl fossil in Fukui,
Forever aloft on calcified wings
For children to look up and wonder:
From what mysterious realm did you come?
But beneath the fossilized dragonfly,
No such wide-eyed adolescents pass by.
This Train Station of Natural History’s only patrons
Are closed-eyed, downtrodden business men:
Too busy catching up on sleep walking
To raise their gaze above the floor.

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Rain Drop Drag Race

Droplets of rain drag race
Across the crowded window pane
As the train departs from Hachiman.

As the faster racers
Devour their slower opponents,
They gain in both size and speed.
I’m unable to avert my gaze
From their cannibal carnage.

Beyond, a ghostly backdrop
Of formless black shadows
Inhabit the night outside.

We watch the rain race,
These spectating specters and I,
They shout odd and wagers
While I place my money
On the coming of a new today.

A flash of cameras
The photo finish lights
The winners’ long comet tail.
A thunderous roar from the ghouls
Who’ve been exposed by lightning.

The droplets come to a stop
As the train pulls into my station.
The race is over.
Occasional flashes of camera bulbs
Still light the night sky.
The crowd is still howling
As I collect my meager winnings
And bid the night farewell.

The Train Rolls On

Mountains melt into clouds
As the sun falls beneath the world
To brighten other, distant days ahead
And leave this one behind.

A grey and white twilight backlight
Illuminates the earthen specters
Blending lake, land, and sky.

I gaze across the pallid water
From the window of the 7:15 Rapid Transit Train,
Transfixed by the mysterious ephemeral
That is already disappearing
Before it ever fully comes to being.

The day has ended
And the night is approaching,
But I am grasping at smoke
Trying to possess transforming twilight.

The Church of St. ING

Dank air, thick and heavy
like gaseous molasses, lazily ferments
In this amber rusted barrel
Of soulful blues and bad tobacco.

Faithful drunks slowly sway,
Inebriated from breathing kill-devil air.
They sing wailing, gospel woes in harmony
With Lucille on the record player.

Faded brown bed sheets hang from the ceiling,
Covering exposed water pipes and mold,
Billowing up like brown dust clouds
Floating over a bustling bazaar
In a back alley of Baghdad.

Youthful patrons bring with them
A breath of fresh and lively air.
Giddy to begin their weekly ritual
Of Bacchic worship this Saturday evening.

These half-hearted, holiday worshippers
Take their place among the devoted regulars,
Who’ve prayed from bar stool pews,
Solemnly consuming a eucharist
Of almighty alcohol and mixed nuts,
Confessing their sins to the barman priests,
All while searching for a salvation I see
In the emptiness of their glazed eyes
And the sadness lurking beneath each bingeing high.


ING is a rock bar near Sanjo station in Kyoto, Japan. It is usually populated with a good mix of Japanese and foreigners, most of whom are faithful patrons of the small establishment. Somewhat hidden on the second floor of an unassuming building, ING is a diamond waiting to be found by those looking for down-to-earth authenticity in the overly commercialized party district of Kyoto. This piece was written on a lonely evening when I found myself at the bar quite a bit earlier than usual. The deep conversations, steady stream of B.B. King, and (of course) flow of booze almost convinced me to become a more serious convert to Bacchus.

The Kumano Kodo 熊野古道

A peaceful night is ended
By the first light of morning
Before a bright Sun soaring
Over the edge of the ocean.

Inside, the tent has become a planetarium
Shining droplets of condensation-stars
Refracting rainbows of morning dew
Formed from the radiant body heat
Of weary pilgrims happily beat
Upon the Kumano Trail. Read more

The Kumano Kodo 熊野古道

Poet's Corner

A peaceful night is ended
By the first light of morning
Before a bright Sun soaring
Over the edge of the ocean.

I open my eyes to a starry tent sky
Shining droplets of condensation
Refracting rainbows of morning dew
Formed from the radiant body heat
Of weary pilgrims happily beat
Upon the Kumano Trail.

View original post 258 more words

Sakura

Snow still sits atop the highest peaks
Like vanilla icing, dripping
From rocky road ice cream cones,
Shining, sleek with sweat
From its battle with the Sun.

Down by the lake,
playfully shimmering water
shines a halo around the pink tutu
Of Cherry Blossom ballerinas,
Dancing aloft with a woodwind breeze. Read more

Shortsighted Downfall

Poet's Corner

Inoperable:
The spread of Climate’s cancer,
While men still suck cigs.

View original post 44 more words

The Messenger

Blindly barking dogs,
Fighting change with feral snarls,
Fail to stop the post. Read more

鳥のすけ On A Tuesday

Five more skewers are placed on the grill.
The sizzling smell of succulence pervades the air
As red hot, charcoal flames seer through chicken flesh.

A dash of seven spices and sprinkle of soy sauce
Spill into the coals which burst forth in flame
Hungrily dancing to the mouth-watering melody
Of the sizzle and pop of skewers
atop the blackened cast iron grill.

“Sister!” shouts a drunk chasing his chicken with liqour
As he deepens the debt he has taken from tomorrow:
A loan of happiness to be brutally collected
By the shark of a wife he left lurking the waters at home.

But for now the man pays no attention to debt,
Much prefering to let his drunk eyes rest
On the soft complexion of the young waitress
Who graciously enables his addiction to escape.

Another round goes down at the bar
Whose sole occupant slowly succumbs
To the fermented grapes of Bacchus pleasure
And the delerious thoughts as deep as his wine is red
Only to find a box of fanzia behind the bar.