Mountain Fever Dreams

Lanky four-legged beasts,
Macabre silhouettes in the morning light,
Cast shadows into the icy valley below,
Prolonging the slumber, if only for a second,
Of the yet-snoozing in their colorful caves.

The creatures slowly creep skyward,
Laboriously climbing to the rocky ridge,
Taking long strides with gaunt forelegs
No thicker than sticks and just as straight.
It seems the giraffe of Broadway gave up the spotlight
To graze the vertical savanna of Japan’s mountains.
Packing our gear, we head out on safari. Continue reading “Mountain Fever Dreams”


At the Kohikan

Classical renditions of pop-hits on piano
Softly waft through coffee-steeped air.
White cream falls, smooth as silk
Diving into a black and bitter pool
without sound, like a gold medalist.

From the Brazilian, brown depths,
Pale phantom specters eerily rise,
Like harbinger missiles in long silence,
And burst into mushroom clouds
Unable to break through the surface tension.
Their storms swirl like those raging on Jupiter—
Or how I imagine the dark typhoon
Looming just off the western coast
Must look to an astronaut on high.

But if that man on the moon
Is looking over the brim of his coffee,
I envy his distant perspective
So far removed from Earthly fear and anxiety.
And I hope that between the two of us,
One might enjoy his cup in peace. Continue reading “At the Kohikan”

Tsuyu: The Rainy Season

As the conductor takes the stage,
The gentle drone of the audience
Turns to apprehensive, expectant silence
Awaiting the impending down stroke.

But before the ictus,
His rushing rise of the baton
Sends forth a gust of wind,
Chilling the atmosphere,
And raising the heat of anxiety.

It beginnings soft and slow.
A quiet patter from an unsnared piccolo drum
In flirting flurries of notes,
As woodland bird calls of woodwinds
Gaily hop about the branches in spring.

The undampened bass drum somberly rolls
A foreboding pianissimo off in the distance,
Stirring ever bigger brass horns to life
As they scramble about the forest floor
Preparing for the approaching storm.

Everyone has heard the classic piece,
And knows the climax is coming.
Yet no one remains unmoved when at last
The maestro signals the grand pause,
Holding the entire world in suspended anticipation,
Nearly bursting with energy,
Yet unable to make a sound—
Unable to breathe.

The eerie calm lasts only a moment.
The conductor slyly steals a glance
At the mischievously smiling snare
And raises both hands in tandem
With the percussionist’s sticks
Only to bring them raining down
To the spark of a crash symbol,
Drenching the room with a drum roll.

The shower has begun,
And on it will continue
As long as the maestro suspends the fermata,
holding out an upturned, convulsed hand
With such intensity you would think
He was trying to cling to the very air.
At his will, in perpetuity,
As the rain comes down to Earth,
Crescendo and diminuendo
become the only source of time.

And yet, againt the conductor’s suspended reign,
Woodwinds begin chirping again
As brass and metal roam the landscape
And life moves on.

This video has nothing to do with this poem… BUT I think it’s awesome, and you should check it out! Sounds of Rain and Thunder


Grey file cabinets line beige-green walls,
Stretching from the speckled grey ceiling
To the off-white (grey), tiled floor.

I sit on a plastic grey chair,
That is the antithesis of comfort,
And makes me lean on its grey armrests
To ease the pain in my aching grey bones
That radiates from my office chakra:
The seat of rational, unnatural man.

Atop my uniform grey and lifeless desk—
Complete with not enough leg room,
Uncomfortably sharp metal edges,
And squeaking draws whose screech
Is only slightly less wretched
Than that of my graying soul—
Is the only source of color in this monotone hell:
A mass produced, green leaflet entitled,
“Mental Health in the Workplace”.

I read the dark grey letters
Who tell me that spring has arrived,
Bringing green life and happiness;
Who tell me all the “typical” symptoms,
Attempting to objectively diagnose me
Without knowing a single thing about me;
Who suggest solution after generic solution
That others like me have found of use
Without first knowing what I am like.

I let the green paper fall into the flat sea of grey
Feeling even more pallid and defeated,
And look out the window upon the spring day
Where the radiantly smiling sun shines down
Upon the joyously budding life of the mountain side
Which is filled with newly green leaves
That are greener than any damn leaflet.

Sorry it’s been a while. Thank you for reading.

Mt. Haleakala

The sight of the distant city lights
Fades beneath the mountain clouds,
As the birds on wind, aloft,
Call out from the sky below.

The evening Sun rests at my side,
Glowing soft and red.
Upon the horizon lies
The dying embers of a day
Gone by.

But here I am still rising
(So close to the end of my trail),
Reaching for the stars and for heaven–
Yearning for a glimpse of eternity.

The Sun’s last tendrils of light,
Grace my face like a mother’s touch:
Warmth for the cold and weary.
Urging me forth She calls out,

“Take my hand!
Come and fly away with me.
Come roam the heavens
Just o’er your head,
And go wherever,
Your heart may guide you!
Just trust in me.”

Lingering light fades to black
As I turn to head back,
Leaving my dreams
To dance through the stars,
Without me.

Mt. Haleakala is located on Maui, Hawaii. The sunset from the peak after a grueling ascent and plunging temperatures was one of the best I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a decent many). For anyone unwilling-or able- to climb, you can drive straight the observatory at the summit and get the same view–though I can’t say it’ll be the same experience.

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 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. Continue reading “The Kumano Kodo 熊野古道”


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. Continue reading “Sakura”

Winter Rain

Steady rain blankets the plaza
And shrouds late afternoon with early night.
A torrential downpour of fine droplets
That deceptively make no sound
Above the wind of the winter typhoon.
Only the plod of boots is heard
As they splash through frigid puddles.

The eyes of gods’ down trodden faces
Hover over their soaked leather soles,
Watching the light of street lamps
Dance through the watery explosions
Of each booming step.

Shoulders, as hunched as they are wet,
Desperately cling to the ear lobes
Of the now neck-less masses
Holding on to the remnants of heat
Yet to be drained away by the dreary winter storm.