Two Views of Matsuzaka

The Festival of Patience

You will rest under the vines of

the high stone walls of the castle that

no one deemed necessary to erect a concrete

facsimile of what was destroyed by the conflagrations of war

perhaps reflecting on the fitting words of Norinaga to the sound of cicadas

Having had your fill of a view of streets and houses laid out below

a cobweb of power lines cast over houses much the same

since samurai gathered taxes door to door with swords hung

unused by their sides, topknotted bureaucrats,

in the mode of salarimen today, you will

make your way down to the city

There the tender beef calmed with beer and soy will

sit on a plate before you and you’ll

hear Hibari Misora sing and

you’ll close your eyes

and sigh

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One Must Have a Mind of Winter

memoirandremains

tmcam

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man

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Poetry Interlude: Sea-Fever, by John Masefield

Patriactionary


I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and…

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