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 --
A piece of disturbing news was rippling through the village.
Sen no Rikyu had committed seppuku.
I awoke from the dream, crying
in this life,
the profound teaching
lost on tyrant Hideyoshi.
(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com
To purchase Maneki Neko's haunting recording "Muichi Motsu", visit his Bandcamp.