domingo, 24 de enero de 2016

Two Short Stories: Rashōmon; In a Grove - Ryūnosuke Akutagawa


Concatenated thoughts #1 - #2

There was a man sitting by the ruins of a gate known as Rashōmon, listening to the sound of the rain
that was falling over the city of Kyoto. That man had been dismissed by his master and had nowhere to go. So there he was, looking at that gloomy landscape. His thoughts were wandering inside his mind like withering leaves on a windy day. Thinking about a tomorrow when there was nothing to hope for. As the pouring rain started to increase and the day became colder with every passing minute, the man found himself with only two options concerning his inevitable future. He revolved those options in his mind as a set of morals started to make pressure over them. The world had nothing more to give to him. Fate had nothing more to give to him. It was one of those times when responsibility is too much to bear; when freedom interweaves with absurdity and we wish for some Providence to give us a hand. When being alone is the only truth that can be obtained.
Two options. Nothing more. To die of hunger and become another one of those corpses that were taken to the gate. Or to dedicate his life to crime, and thus, keep himself alive.
For although the servant acknowledged that he had to do whatever he could to get by, he didn't have the courage to bring the sentence to its foregone conclusion: "I am bound to become a thief."

Amid such internal struggles, the mind begins to fabricate reasons. Justifications to lighten the weight of any decision that might jeopardize everything that is righteous, honorable, expected. But it was not the rationalization of such matter that helped him make his decision. It was a fire. Her dim firelight, on top of the gate, on that rainy night, barely illuminating the corpses no one would ever remember.
At that moment, if someone again raised the question that the servant had been thinking about under the gate—whether he would starve to death or become a criminal—the servant would almost certainly have chosen starvation, without an ounce of regret. Like the torch the old woman had jammed between the floorboards, this was how ardently the man's heart burned against all that was evil.

A dark, stormy weather that seems to evoke the collapse of an entire society. A flawless use of symbolism to illustrate the vanishing line between a man and a beast.
A savage place where once rational people now just do what they have to do. And yet, I wonder how rational can you be when your life's at stake.

You might have heard of a film named after this short story. A 1950 movie directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune—an actor I love since the very first time I saw him impressing everyone in Seven Samurai. I decided to only watch this movie after reading two short stories. First, Rashōmon that provided the setting. The plot and the characters were taken from another short story named... 


Concatenated thoughts #1 - #2

...In a Grove; another fine inspiration for Kurosawa's film. This story includes four testimonies, one confession, one repentance and a final account concerning the murder of Kanazawa no Takehiro, a 26 year-old samurai, and the rape of his wife, a 19 year-old woman named Masago, by a notorious brigand known as Tajōmaru. Those might be the most accurate details of the entire story since there are many contradictions among all the people involved in this case, making it impossible for the reader to actually know the truth, even when there might not be such a thing... rather than realities naturally connected with subjectivity. The witnesses' inconsistencies might have not been on purpose. Some sort of explanation can be found in the obvious fact that our memory is not completely reliable. Therefore, inconsequential details or relevant events might get lost in a sea of information, especially to those who are not used to such things that eventually improve one's observation skills. However, I do not believe the same can be said about the other three characters: the samurai (in fact, his spirit), his wife and the criminal, for they all have good reasons to invent, embellish or distort their versions to save their lives and honor.

A lie works as a mechanism of self-preservation for most people.
Am I the only one who kills people? You, you don't use your swords. You kill people with your power, with your money. Sometimes you kill them on the pretext of working for their good... It's hard to say who is a greater sinner, you or me.
The plot revolves around some interesting themes that include the inability to know an absolute truth since everything seems to be contaminated by our impressions; self-interest, beauty and lust, dishonor and the atrocities a person is willing to do to remedy that situation, the ephemeral essence of our existence and the heinous rationalization behind the act of taking somebody else's life.
'Truly human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning', stated the traveling Buddhist priest in his testimony.

Since the film gave me the absurd idea of merging these reviews, it is only fair to say that Kurosawa's approach differs a bit from Akutagawa's story, where ambiguity controls every aspect of it. But the movie is something you do not want to miss due to stunning performances, sublime music and the symbolism they have employed that is simply mesmerizing, ranging from particular elements to a dichotomy conveyed through an exquisite use of light. Besides, you haven't cinematographically (?) lived until you see Mifune fluctuating between serious dialogues and sudden outbursts of laughter with his unique voice.

Anyway, as the book reaches its peak, everything seems rather superfluous. Even words. There was an implied communication between some of the characters in which many things were said through the eyes. A poetic interpretation would not apply here, since I believe they did it to find whatever they were resolved to find. Another excuse to justify their actions. Nonetheless, in the end, I suppose they were all guilty as they were victims.

The story ends with the account of the murdered samurai as told through a medium. It is the part I loved the most since it allowed me to take a glimpse at Akutagawa's beautiful and poignant writing, something that could not exist in the previous attempt to describe cold, hard facts. A desire for truth. An absolute truth that might never be able to avoid the contact with our personal experiences, our opinions, our interests. Our ego.

sábado, 23 de enero de 2016

The Devil - Leo Tolstoy


An affair began; it was simply necessary for his health. As with every obsession, he thought he could break it off when needed.
After some time, he found reassurance in what seemed to be a good marriage.
By an act of mischievous gods or the mere absurdity of the world that usually goes against our wishes, he found his former lover again. Time involves, if not oblivion, an illusion of it that gives humans a chance of survival. But one glance and the past becomes real again. *'Too Much Love Will Kill You' plays in the background*

That distressing time of looking for opportunities to meet her again had begun. A restless mind that could no longer decide the nature of his thoughts, for they were all about her. He was waiting. Always waiting, expecting that by some miracle she would be aware that he was expecting her, and would come here at once...

Too much passion might tempt the fates and tragedy would be right there, waiting for its opportunity.

Well. My little tragedy was reading this novella. I reached a level of boredom I did not think it was possible while reading Tolstoy. The writing, the overly sentimental way of portraying the story, the characters, the endings (yes, it has two endings and found them both equally irritating).
Since I am reading Anna Karenina at this moment, this novella seems to have been written by Tolstoy's drunk shadow. It has some good ratings here so maybe you will enjoy it. It just wasn't my thing. I was going to give it three stars only because of the author. But that's not how things should work around here. (Yes, if it were a book by Dostoyevsky, I would have given it three stars...)

I chose one line.

Nothing does harm if one's mind is at peace.

Whatever that is.

The Grand Inquisitor - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Know, then, that now, precisely now, these people are more certain than ever before that they are completely free, and at the same time they themselves have brought us their freedom and obediently laid it at our feet. It is our doing, but is it what you wanted? This sort of freedom?

This is a chapter from one of my favorite novels, The Brothers Karamazov. Some friends already know about my unconditional love for Dostoyevsky's work. Anything I say is extremely subjective and ultimately forgettable. Anyway, it is preferable to read the entire novel so as to not only enjoy that gem, but to basically understand the characters' particular views.

Ah. The Lord and the inquisitor.
‘Everything,’ they say, ‘has been handed over by you to the pope, therefore everything now belongs to the pope, and you may as well not come at all now, or at least don’t interfere with us for the time being.’

Even when read separately, this section stands out for its lyrical force and, essentially, for the depth and intensity of its philosophical meditations concerning religion and human nature. Themes that—as someone who is always struggling in this small fragment of the world filled with fragile, ambivalent impressions—have been haunting one reader for many years now.
We corrected your deed and based it on miracle, mystery, and authority. And mankind rejoiced that they were once more led like sheep, and that at last such a terrible gift, which had brought them so much suffering, had been taken from their hearts.

Assumptions, everywhere. Confusion. Always the doubts. Always the fear. Ivan speaks. Alyosha, stunned.
He comes for the chosen ones. The ones that will inherit the kingdom of God. The ones that amidst all the possible and impossible notions and mysteries that humanity cannot unveil, were chosen before they were even born. He was always aware of their identities. Their acts, their benevolence, their purity of heart. He always knew. They were created to be saved. As for the rest of us, we are left wondering if fate can take a turn. If simple mortals can bend the rules of eternity and challenge the decisions of an omniscient being by behaving like devoted Christians—that would be one case, since the concept of paradise and its constant truth is deeply connected to geography. Illusions of a mind that wonders if the unchosen ones can still create a path towards salvation.
Many efforts have been made to reconcile the arguments of such delicate nature. And yet...
We have a game. A war. The last battle between predestination and freedom, before the hunting begins.

You want to go into the world, and you are going empty-handed, with some promise of freedom, which they in their simplicity and innate lawlessness cannot even comprehend, which they dread and fear—for nothing has ever been more insufferable for man and for human society than freedom!

lunes, 18 de enero de 2016

Evening - Anna Akhmatova, Andrey Kneller (Translator)


Neither one of us understood
How small the earth was for two

Evening is Akhmatova's first book, published in 1912. This collection includes some beautifully
crafted poems that brought her critical acclaim. Through the art of simplicity, she managed to convey many aspects of our complex behavior.

A decision, a depart, different stages of a relationship, a failed marriage, a brief existence, the desire of returning to what is essential. An eerie atmosphere covers the entire book, unveiling the intrinsic bond between opposite elements that necessarily complement each other. There is simply too much love and too much loss on every page Akhmatova wrote.
And your sorrow, hidden from others,
Drew me close and opened forthright
And you say just how much I was smothered
By the poisonous yearning inside.

Her verses portray fragments of emotions that can be seen in the beginning of a relationship. Emotions that either evolve or degenerate, until there is nothing but distance and pride.
Everything seems to have been written by someone that was able to feel everything. Until there was nothing left.
The ice has covered up the garden,
It sparkles and it cracks.
The one who left me is disheartened
But there's no coming back.

There are few poems filled with effusive impressions that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, since I honestly cannot connect with that kind of strong sentiment. So the lines that describe someone's lament as a response to the aching absence of love usually leave me confused, when such lament involves an absurd desire of wanting to merge with the earth because someone does not share the same feelings. But I did enjoy the poems written with a much balanced tone, and the ones that illustrate other sides that together constitute what we know as human nature. Luckily, those were the majority.
In the heart, the memory of the sun fades,
Yellower turns the grass.
The wind disperses the early flakes
Barely, with each pass.
In narrow channels, water won't flow -
Cooling, stands still.
Here nothing will ever happen, I know, -
It never will!

I will keep exploring Akhmatova's poetry so as to witness what I believe must be a fascinating journey through the years, as she reached a more mature style. Even though this first collection of hers was an impressive start. Her writing is deeply lyrical and, fortunately, lacks of all superfluous attempt of embellishment. Her poetry echoes every raw emotion that many are unwilling to acknowledge. Or worse, unable to explain.
Here years can pass without a word.

* A nice translation by Andrey Kneller. This is the second time I read his work and I'm very much pleased with what I found.

Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett


Disclaimer: To fully understand this, click on here

A nice homage would be to write nothing.


That is what I wrote this afternoon. Before that, a friend told me to write something. He was so sure that I could. I am never sure about what I can or cannot do. But he thought so. That was nice.

Nothing much happened after that, until another kind friend paid this review a visit and said "to wait". And "if he does not show up tomorrow..." Well, what is to be done then? There are messengers that assured me he would come. I will keep waiting. Contemplating the same places, the same scenarios, over and over, until I can predict the entire world. Never neglect the little things of life.

And then I think. And then, some more. Do I really want to keep waiting?
I wonder if I even have that choice.

Then, a beautiful woman with a quick mind that could leave you staring at your shoes, utterly perplexed, came along. She told me that I comprehended an author with finesse. I thanked her, of course. But... did I? In the middle of this constant—and often tiresome—analysis that I cannot escape from, can I even begin to grasp the concept of anything at all?
There is meaning, somewhere. But I fear it will keep evading our presence until... Ah. Choose the metaphor you like. This is getting alarming.

A couple of minutes later, another lovely woman said that this was clever. I am not sure of that since I believe Goodreads would delete this in a heartbeat. But, oh well. Nothing to be done.

The second I finished writing this, a third woman, equally stunning and of enviable wits, appeared. This good friend that I so admire, asked me something like "Can we keep waiting even when he makes an appearance?" And that made me ponder. Are we prepared for such a visit? Us, simple mortals, are we ready to face that kind of revelation? We are still waiting by that tree. Still complaining about so much waiting. But I wouldn't know what to do if... I may be mistaken, though. I have the feeling I thought about this yesterday. Not sure what day is today but I definitely thought about this... yesterday. God. Either I forget immediately or I never forget.

I was about to leave when another kind man approached and left a lovely comment about the quality of this review. I often disagree but that is how my head functions. And it is always nice to read that, so I thanked him. It's the normal thing.

After some time—do not know how much time since I can never measure it—another friend stopped by. He was asking when to read a certain book. He was not waiting for Godot, he was waiting for the right time. Oh. That might just be him...
No. Ah, yes. Time. That unforgiving time that refuses to stop. Time flows, always. Always the minutes. Always the decades. Even if we remain in the same place, with the same glance, the same companionship: ourselves. I would like that friend to read this book as soon as possible. But I do not own the proper words to convince him. Hell, I do not own any word. They own me; a powerless captive. So, I think, I believe, I cannot say much.
We wait... A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste. Come, let's go to work! In an instant all will vanish and we'll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!
Or worse, we won't be here at all.
...you have to decide, my friend.

Later, another friend came along and said that this review was his favorite of the year so far. And I thought that was a lovely compliment. The problem is that I kept thinking. And analyzing. And in further reflection I said to myself, “okay, I know I cannot measure time, I know that I am not sure if I am still living a yesterday or I am already living my tomorrow because this permanent sense of ennui that fills each day makes me forget everything, but I am aware that the year has just started.” And here we are, standing on this immense world with a myriad of possibilities and its inexorable absurdity haunting us everyday—an absurdity that allows anything to happen—so the fact that this review full of nonsense is someone's favorite of the year that has just begun, made me think. A better one might be written tomorrow. Or in a minute. And then, that's it. Ah. Stop thinking. All I know is that the hours are long, under these conditions. ... Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! I will make sure to say this as soon as I see this friend. Because days will pass and time will pass and things must be said.
...the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more. But that endless process does not apply to our ephemeral nature.

"Lovely musings", another friend wrote a couple of minutes ago. But when you think about it, there's nothing much to do, really. We are always looking for something new. Something else. Nothing much for me to find. It'd pass the time, they say. I haven't met anyone yet with the ability of breaking that vicious circle. We are here to spend time... And watch the sky as it changes its colors. A constant feeling of another day done with. We want to move, we say we'll go, we stay right here, like a not so lucky man with a rope around his neck.
Honestly. One is not master of one's mood.

As I was about to conclude with this illogical ode to the absurd, this dull melody that echoes the unpredictable nature of things and the tiresome search for what we are not meant to know, two more friends came along. The first one claimed to have seen him, the reason of it all. Apparently, he was trying to remember something. And at a cafe, no less! Whereas some of us are part of this useless but inevitable seek of meaning in life, trying to fill the gaps with something that might embody some source of comfort rather than simply embrace such absurdity of existence, hope for nothing and achieve a sense of freedom—if not freedom itself—Godot is passing the time at a cafe, completely unaware of our existence and our strong desire to meet him, as we see our days go by. Days that no longer perceive a different color. ...habit is a great deadener.
The last friend recommended me to watch the play that introduced me to these people that were waiting for Godot. And then mentioned another one. I cannot think of a better ending to this preposterous review. To postpone for a while this awfully exhausting search for meaning and enjoy another play that will probably make me think of that search almost immediately.
Human nature, my friend.

To be continued.
If you write.

lunes, 11 de enero de 2016

The Demon - Mikhail Lermontov


Where the land knows no time
where bonfires have no end,
and doomed shadows often tend
to mutter songs that poorly rhyme,

there lies the Demon, another prey of his kingdom.

and one by one the ages passed,
as minute follows after minute,
each one monotonously dull.

Tired of his empire, he soon claimed
a small thrill,
descriptiondescriptiondescriptiona world of chance,
an emerald hill,
descriptiondescriptiondescriptionsomebody's glance.
“I shall live now!”, he naively exclaimed.

And long he gazed, with fascination,
at the sweet view; as if in a dream

The wide earth he started to wander;
on the Caucasian mountains he stopped,
a desperate sigh of hope there he dropped,
as he saw the bride that made him ponder

and filled his soul with chords and joy.

words came no more . . . had he forgot?

Princess Tamara was her divine name;
but heavens didn't forgive
descriptiondescriptiondescriptionhis eyes made of fire,
no one could outlive
descriptiondescriptiondescriptionthe nature of his desire,
as the weeping chants of fate abruptly came;

such solitude on the sunless face of pride.

The crafty Demon with infernal
reveries had tempted him; in thoughts
beneath the gloom, the shades nocturnal,
it was his sweetheart's lips he sought.

There is no redemption for those who can't speak
nor freely touch; in this land or far above
where everything's whiter than a pale dove,
amidst the bluest ocean or a Caucasian peak;
an eternal misfortune, silent and bleak,
the suffering of being unable to love

another Russian friend thus wrote.

A cry resounded, tortured, fierce,
troubling the stillnesses nocturnal.
In it were love, and pain's hard kernel,
reproaches, a last desperate prayer,
and then a hopeless, an eternal
farewell to life—all these were there.

We hurt the things we love most,
things so distant and of silence full;
fair signs which existence was null,
people never found yet always lost.

As the sound of the piano reaches the end,
Lermontov's poetry invades this mind,
a torrent of thoughts, loud and blind;
no hope of ever being able to find
meaning in these lines vainly penned.

Words that rest on nobody's palm,
destined to hide from the world's sight;
words without any music, beat or calm.

martes, 5 de enero de 2016

Journal of a Solitude - May Sarton

Does anything in nature despair except man?

September 15th

I feel inadequate. I have made an open place, a place for meditation. What if I cannot find myself inside it?
For a long time now, every meeting with another human being has been a collision. I feel too much, sense too much, am exhausted by the reverberations after even the simplest conversation. But the deep collision is and has been with my unregenerate, tormenting, and tormented self. I have written every poem, every novel, for the same purpose—to find out what I think, to know where I stand. I am unable to become what I see.

September 16th
I make the questions.
I also give the answers.


September 17th
It was a strange relationship, for he knew next to nothing about my life, really; yet below all the talk we recognized each other as the same kind. He enjoyed my anger as much as I enjoyed his. Perhaps that was part of it. Deep down there was understanding, not of the facts of our lives so much as of our essential natures.

September 20th
“There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It's like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction—every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it's really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.” P.

September 22nd
I am losing the ability to hold a conversation with people. My voice drowns. My mind wanders. I am holding on to those written words, clinging to them like they were the last piece of wood of a fragile boat that the sea swallowed before. I am holding on to that last trace of whatever it is that makes me human.
...but, what are we looking at? A puppy starving for a glance that fearfully walks away after it gets it; overwhelmed, confused. Connections and detachment fight for a place inside conflicted minds, echoing the struggles of those lonesome beasts of the steppes.

September 23rd
It is raining. I sit by the window and start to look at the world I know, where the jasmines and some white lilies briefly live. Nothing compares to the scent of the jasmines, I think. As I repeat that particular thought inside my head, the rest of them start to ramble. Trapped in the inner world as they contemplate what's outside. They blend with reverie and solitude and begin to restlessly create memories. Brand new memories of things that I have never experienced. A sense of nostalgia towards things that were never real. A feeling of loss at what I have never had. Possibilities are endless and I cannot control anything.
Except the presence of those simple jasmines. And how their fragrance make me feel. For I do not want a mere surface of bright colors or unusual forms. I want everything.
Or nothing at all.

September 25th
This room is a place in the world. Here I breathe, I dream, I read, I write. Do I live? I do feel that universal sense of discontent with life that I wish I could shake off at once. Happiness must exist, somewhere. A moment, a day, a year. A book, a place, a song, a person. And then I think—that inevitable activity that haunts us everyday. And then. And then I am not sure if I want to find that happiness and belong to the flock.
Even though I believe that I am already a part of one.
But mirrors await. Poetry emerges from every nook. Time, unforgiving time. Time is everything.
Give me a day and I will give you a year of thoughts. With time, I will accept. I will regret. Fortunately or against my wishes, I will also start to forget. I was never able to forget completely. But things become quiet memories. It all starts to lose its brightness. Its warmth. I thought about someone today. Those faintly aloof eyes.
I smiled. A colder memory now.

September 28th
I am an ornery character, often hard to get along with. The things I cannot stand, that make me flare up like a cat making a fat tail, are pretentiousness, smugness, the coarse grain that often shows itself in a turn of phrase. I hate vulgarity, coarseness of soul. I hate small talk with a passionate hatred. ...it is a waste of time to see people who have only a social surface to show. I will make every effort to find out the real person, but if I can't, then I am upset and cross. Time wasted is poison.

September 29th
'How does one grow up?' I asked a friend the other day. There was a slight pause; then she answered, “By thinking.”

The thing I want to control the most.


So intimate, so special, so familiar. These journals reminded me of a book I absolutely adore.
A brushstroke of sweet, melancholic poetry on every page. The deafening sounds of a silent introspection. I have found more words to describe the inexplicable, since my own are never enough.
I am accused of disloyalty because I talk about things that many people would keep to themselves...I am not at all discreet about anything that concerns feeling. My business is the analysis of feeling.

May Sarton merged nature with solitude and, as a result, this beautifully crafted book came into existence. Journals filled with her impressions on the natural world, relationships of all sorts, the creative process and the isolation that it inevitably requires, the ebb and flow of her depression, the moments of peace in between.
A walk through the depths of her complex soul has been portrayed with a most exquisite and honest writing.

A Modest Proposal - Jonathan Swift


This review contains sensitive material that may be upsetting to some readers.



I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection. I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled, and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or ragout.

A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter. 


* Photo credit: Jonathan Swift / CC
Population / James Cridland, Flickr via Forbes.
Photo of a baby lobster via IDN Times.

viernes, 1 de enero de 2016

The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories - Yasunari Kawabata


“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.”
― Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

The Dancing Girl of Izu
looking from afar
wishing to break the silence
that haunts them tonight

Full review

Diary of My Sixteenth Year
lonely child
forced to grow
as leaves fall

crowded oil
fading away
amid the ashes

The Master of Funerals
existence whispers
ancient songs of winter times

solitude lingers

Full review

Gathering Ashes
old dust
makes the nose bleed
when cicadas cry

two loners meet
and start their journey
throughout Japan

The Princess of the Dragon Palace
sinners pay

they soon became
two lines
destined never to meet

The Honey Road
memories of loss
break into the mind
as a whitened pond
sings into the night

They say paradise is far away.

Chastity Under the Roof
I wonder
what to say
about this one

long sigh

moving on

The Moon
thoughts so heavy
that dig his clogs
into the snow

...one who intends to join her life with mine.

a woman sees
a line of enemies
inside her screen

A Woman
where the gourds lie, a sullied sword pierced a tombstone to purify itself

Frightening Love
do the heavens
too much love?


heavens punish
too much

Horse Beauty
ravishing horse
galloped off
leaving the cosmos flowers

The Sea
stop hesitating
bring your silence
and walk with me

'Please take me where I can't look at the sea.'

silent hands
evoke her death
pomegranate flower

He believed that in this way his unexpressed feelings could somehow be communicated to others.

The Third-Class Waiting Room
Tokyo Station
has the feeling
she's not coming

The Watch
a lawyer
meant to talk
can't find the words
in his avalanche of thoughts

We mustn't condemn the vanity of these two. Vanity happened to give this man, who had groveled in fear of women, a little courage for love. ...perhaps, this thing called love is so absurd that it will manifest itself regardless of the means.

open your eyes now
under the fallen oak leaves
lie real intentions

exhaust me

yet they brought the boy back to his land

Burning the Pine Boughs
the sounds of fear
cover the night
of the first sparrow

A Prayer in the Mother Tongue
the mind
as it says goodbye

'Perhaps Kayoko is something like a mother tongue to me.'

The Setting Sun
don't look at my past
she said to the poet
near the blossoms


the samurai's sword
grabbed a life
and broke it in two

your silence is sharper

* First review of 2016. One can only hope...