words taken from the last line of a samurai creed

Ryoan-ji, the Temple of the Peaceful Dragon, is known for its Zen gardens. Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Pavilion,
was burned in 1950 by a Buddhist priest who had been seduced by its beauty; a replica stands today. Ginkaku-ji,
the Silver Pavilion, stands at the end of Tetsugaku no Michi, the Philosopher’s Path.

in the swirl of shinto-smoke
that reminds me of nothing

so much as my dead mother,
the absence of myself

is a sword undulled by blood or lust
and too bright for eyes

that have not known tears;
like coins thrust for luck

or safe passage; like
dappled morning on Ryoan-ji pond

where cranes stalk salvation
beside the unanswered prayers

of lost fingertips;
like broken glass

on asphalt in a hot Kyoto night;
Kinkaku burning in the sun;

Ginkaku-ji at journey’s end.

20 thoughts on “words taken from the last line of a samurai creed

  1. wow nice joanna….i like…i like how the lines blur between the couplets and continue on adding meaning and depth like lost fingertips and broken glass, but then the next line on the asphalt…anyway, i like your play…great imagery as well…good stuff…

  2. This place must inspire that kind of introspection and personal peace. Others have told me so but never in a way so well enunciated as this. The beauty of the place becomes a cool and personal yet passionate flame as you paint it here.

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