For two departed friends

For Aunt V., in loving memory of her friends
When you sleep,
and sleep you shall –
at the dying of day –
remember us.

the way
we waited,
for your loving hands,
the way
we curled up on the floor
and kept you company
in the stormy fray.

years from now,
our loopy ways,
our ever so slight waddle
and the joy we showed
just for you –
and you above all.

For now we rest,
as the day must fall
and into the light
we fade away,
into the light
we fade away.


Masaki Kobayashi's nightmare

This garden
by the sea
has a temple in it.
Overhead, a
white cloud.
Pure light
pouring down;
Trees lit
with drops
of rain.
In this temple,
a manuscript.
A parchment of old,
worn characters
telling of battles past,
with ash on it.
Stories tell of the clash
of ships
and the end of
an Emperor.
The shoreline
is littered with crabs
(they say)
that bear the faces
of the warring dead.
Can you see their ghosts
in the thick of night?
No matter.
March is a cruel month.
The salt of ocean
bears the trace
of radioactive waste
for years to come.


Kaddish for Fukushima

Sing a Kaddish
let it rise and swirl...
over the blue grass
and the apples,
the meadows and the fields
Overhead, whirling drops
of Hassid rain
and water everywhere
salt pouring into wounds
oceans severed
and sunless seas:
it is time to sing the
for this unborn world...

I called this home once;
a western wind blew through
the windows of a wooden house
a small fire lit
and warmth inside;
sun outdoors when the day
was high
and green, green fields
ever sprawling trees
and ever crisp
the moonlit air...

And now? Sing the Kaddish
let it rise and swirl
amidst the smoke of battle;
endless repetition
and flight, tears –
and laughter, too!
In this, the field in which
I died.



Eyes are closing…
Spirit drifting and
peaceful waves
of the dear departed
on holy wings of fortune,
take me on that downward journey
into the land of rest…
Temperature falling
and heartbeat slowing;
Sync me in to the global verse
where light and words
are from…
Catch me brother sleep
for when I fall
I will know no
till morning sun.