Lunchtime at the Local Shrine

High flying cicada woodwinds
Soar over the distant roar
Of passing cars beyond the gate.

A soft and pleasant pattering
Of trickling water from the mouth
Of an ever-drooling dragon
Stretching its long cast-iron hide
Around it’s spiritual pool.

Important looking people pass through.
Some stop to breath in the peace,
But most use the rocky path
To cut a corner off their route
And shave a coveted second
From their midday commute.

One leisure old man hobbles by
Unhurried by the pressing of passing time.
He stops at the fountain,
Grabs the ritual washing ladle firmly,
And takes a nice drink from the water,
Slurping loud enough for the spirits to hear.

A quick percussive rasping
Of hands clapping sounds twice
As a woman runs through ritual prayer,
Bowing to the shrines, one after another,
Hardly given a moment to each.
I wonder for what she prays?

Perhaps more time…



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