Writing Japan

toriiofshannoshrine

(internet photo: Torii of Shanno Shrine in Nagasaki after atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945. It was the only thing that withstood the explosion in the area)
A friend challenged me to write a poem about Japan; this is what I came up with.

Japan is a tsunami,
a world of samurai and sumo
ikebana and kamikaze.
The land of the rising sun
graces us with cherry blossoms
and temples that flow
from a calligraphy brush.

Earthquakes reverberate
half a world away,
carry strength
to the west,
remnants of people’s live
swept out to sea.

A crewless “ghost ship”
sails to Haida Gwaii.
While we sip exotic tea
and inspect wreckage,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
disturb us with grace,
slowly dissolving.

Japan is a sculptured garden,
glass and sleek steel
arranged with precision
next to paper walled teahouses,
Mount Fuji an elegant backdrop
to bullet trains that shuttle
honorable tradition
into a unpruned future.

Resetting Rhythms

girlfriends-together-forever

(photo credit: cruisewithmike.wordpress.com)

They came
in two and threes
slowly arriving for a weekend
of relaxation and rejuvenation

The excuse was to play cards
learn more strategy
become better players
A tradition started long ago

Reality:
reset rhythms
escape the hustle and worry
of everyday life

Duty and guilt
always make their appearance
Pipe up with reasons
why this time away
is self indulgent
a decadent treat to self
family suffers while moms are away
chores are left undone
commitments are not met

true, true and true

BUT

Time has shown
laughter
good food
wine
talking to the wee hours of the morning
staying in pjs all day if you want to
along with playing cards
is good for the soul

Friendships are reconnected and strengthened
rhythms are reset
revitalized
a weekend of self indulgence
proves to be an endowment
for the future
a gift of a better self