I was sitting on a rough-hewn bench

eating a meager meal in a small roadside saké shop.

A large jar of saké sat in front of me.

I sat eating, sipping, watching…

...an ant walking across the table

...rain drip-drip-dripping down a rain chain

...the shuffle-shuffle-swish of a fine lady in late Spring kimono.

 

Two women at a nearby table

-- maybe sisters, maybe aunt and niece --

were gossiping.

 

A piece of disturbing news was rippling through the village.

Sen no Rikyu had committed seppuku.

 

I awoke from the dream, crying

openly,

in this life,

having comprehended

the profound teaching

lost on tyrant Hideyoshi.


(c) 2017 / Pure Land Poetry / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

This poem will appear in the forthcoming September 2018 release of The School of Soft-Attention, now available for pre-order from Homebound Publications or Amazon.com

To purchase Maneki Neko's haunting recording "Muichi Motsu", visit his Bandcamp.

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