Cast in Blue

Cosmic Egg – Maco Nishida

‘The world around us
is very mysterious, ” he said.
“It doesn’t yield its secrets easily’
– Carlos Castaneda

I prefer them all in blue
Against a shadowy background
Do you hear them whispering too
Speaking their foggy shades
Against the night’s dodgy dreams

And what have they become
These mind’s eye mosquitoes
What meaning do they carry
What colors have they shed
What says the Delphic muse so sly

Speak up you say
Roll them around your tongue
Out and out they arrive
Limber of limb outspoken
spewed from a dead man’s eyes

For I trust them not
That demon spawn that snares our cries
Gathering jealous books
They speak of truth in lies
Tattering cities in their wicked pride

I Trust not their bloody muse
With her lustful eyes of sin
She twists and scampers freely
Reading my blood and veins
And would steal my broken sighs

I’ve been over this bridge before
Seen Lethe’s water passing by
Many times these words have been spoken
So many times have they arrived
As we lonely walked the path of graves

yamabuki
August 2011

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Fading Leaves

What I love about random things … – MichR

“To light a candle is to cast a shadow…”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
A Wizard of Earthsea 

Yellow leaves darkening
Still a hint of green
Once so full of life
Now dying to brown
Wooden slats
So straight and narrow
Evenly cut to size
By saws of steel
So too the leaves
Exactly the right size
Working hard by day
Churning light to love
By night they dreamed
Or talked among themselves
Whispering in the wind
Those things only trees know
Now like gray old men
Laying in their graves
They have returned to earth
Back to their mother’s arms

yamabuki
August 2011

Blood Secrets (revisited)

“Stir it up” – by Hazel Dooney @DooneyStudio

“If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
nearly invisible
as if the stone has 
swallowed it.”
— Naomi Shihab Nye
“Some people do. They sleep completely,
waking refreshed. Others live in two worlds,
the lost and remembered.
They sleep twice, once for the one who is gone,
once for themselves. They dream thickly,
dream double, they wake from a dream
into another one, they walk the short streets
calling out names, and then they answer.”
— Naomi Shihab Nye 
1.
Sighs and whispers drenched in blood
Wandering endlessly dusk to dawn
And like Vladimir and Estragon
Awaiting their final redemption
They hang upon their Woden cross
Yellow fog and red lipped poppies
Drenching us in a rain of sighs
Their blood entering our veins
In the needled thorns of their lies
Looking endlessly for peace
Do you long for peaceful sleep
That absence of malice and violence
Would you banish devils and demons
Back to their misbegotten hells
That we may live in endless light
But blood and sighs will not allow this
Tears and terrors live in our dreams
Pumping our heart and feeding our mind
Defining our chosen path 
Through the mountains of cold and ice
2.
What of the past that whispers
Such winds blow our words away
Where have they gone
Must we always start anew
Will dead voices never cease
Where is the division that speaks
Though all words divide meaning
Splitting the Is from Isn’t
Why are we not deafened
By the thunder of such assertions
Take eggs as an example
A life straining to appear
Or giving life to another
We who would eat them wonder
Is the unhatched unworthy of life
3.
I have in my mind a murder
Perhaps real, perhaps imagined
A beautiful loving action it’s true
But a murder none the less
How do we judge such a thing
If this were a murder in a dream
Would it be any less real
Than a murder in a movie
Our soul has still been witness
To the reality of death’s call
Our mind in its rationality says no,
Your eyes have been deceived,
Your heart has been fooled,
No one has died in that vision.
Why then don’t I accept such ‘truth’
In a novel I’ve been reading,
A mother dies of starvation
Giving what little food she had
To keep her grandson alive.
Do these words touch your heart too?
I’ve been told that even in games
When we ‘kill’ on screen avatars,
Computer generated characters,
We are creating violent energy
That effects the whole of reality
Do you know of Indra’s net
The interconnection of all beings?
It sounds so impossible to our mind
That a butterfly moving its wings in Brazil
Could cause a Typhoon in Hong Kong
4.
Maitreya received an invitation
To visit Quan Yin Bodhisattva
In the heaven realms
Upon arrival at Quan Yin’s pavilion
Overlooking a placid lake
Full of fish, ducks and lotus blossoms
Maiteya bowed deeply to Quan Yin
She served him small cakes and tea
And they sat quietly for a short time
Then Quan Yin spoke thusly
“The old gods and goddesses
The saints and angels of the past
All have departed from the human world”
“Yes, this is so” said he
“I dreamed of this not long ago”
“Soon your time will arrive
And your star will ascend.
Would you have my blessing?” she asked
“I would have you with me
For compassion is needed
Now more than ever
In the realm of humans”
“Truly spoken are your words,
But my time on earth is over for now.
The twilight of the gods is real
The wheel has turned.
Another spoke has ascended
And I have left the earth.”
Maitreya said nothing for a while
Thinking on Quan Yin’s words
Feeling with his heart
The flow of blood and time
And Quan Yin spoke further
“You are to arrive alone
In the human realm.
Yet my hands and eyes,
That live on in those who follow me,
Will help you as they are able”
Maitreya watched the ducks
Speaking nothing for a while
Then reached into his robe.
He brought out a begging bowl
And set it on the ground before her
“I saw the Buddha in a cage
And offered him my cell phone
That he might call his followers
To come and help him
He and the cage disappeared
leaving this begging bowl
Which I now gift to you.”
Quan Yin asked quietly
“Is there any hope for the future?”
Maitreya smiled sadly
And shook his head slowly
“The future, which is my time,
remains a mystery.
But do not forget,
The human realm
Has always been violent
And thus doubly rewarding.”
“Watch for me in the storms
Watch for me in the earthquakes
Watch for me in the fires
Watch for me in the floods.
When least expected
I will be there
Without fail”
yamabuki
April 2011

Taoist Tango

Shadows – yamabuki

1. China

Do we always need to remember Tiananmen
Do we always need to remember Mao
Do we always need to remember Sun YatSen
Do we always need to remember History

ll. Curses, Histories, Memories

What are these to you or me
In the greater scheme of things
The Lower Depths of darkness
Lie beneath Graves of memory
China is not unique there
Yet China is uniquely old
5000 years or more of Tea
Dancing a Taoist Tango

Ill. China Pop

Would have us remember
But he seems to me 
Much like Warhol
A proponent of Pop Culture
I have trouble taking either too seriously
I much prefer Chen YiFei
That take us deeper into life
Still China is large
Big enough to hold many views

IIIl. New lamps for old

They have said
What that means 
Is difficult to say
But Like an old god
It must die first
Before being reborn anew
As a young god
With the end of History
All stories already have been told
All we can do is repeat the past
A deck of cards can only be
Shuffled in so many combinations
Perhaps we need forgetfulness too
A time to remember
A time to forget

History paints us into a corner
Where we can only rinse and repeat
Be they lies or truths
It’s still the same story
Told over and over again
Can we never forget History? 

V. A Chinese Curse
The Curse is said to be
That we are living 
In interesting times
But if that is so
Then we are all cursed
All times are interesting times
But do we always
Need to remember 
Everything?

yamabuki
Aug 2011

A different version
Was written in response to 
An Editorial in AsianCha

This poem is also a 
Font experiment
I am using a new font
Gilldyslexic
Which is supposed to be
Easier to read
Due to the spacing
and strengthening 
Of the font 
Along the bottom

yamabuki

Half Closed Eyes

‘June Morning’ – yamabuki
“As we live
So do we die.
Life is the dream.
Death the awakening.”
— Maitreya, Bodhisattva
Who has not yet been born
“Leaning into the afternoons,
I cast my sad nets towards your oceanic eyes.
There, in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames;
Its arms turning like a drowning man’s.
I send out red signals across your absent eyes
That wave like the sea, or the beach by a lighthouse.
You keep only darkness my distant female;
From your regard sometimes, the coast of dread emerges”
— Pablo Neruda
“Leaning Into The Afternoons”
Deep and Dark the Muse
Whispering shadows
Into the frozen night
Lightly heating the way
Through the fogs
And whispering flames
We dare not look full on
To these terrible visions
Lest they haunt our days
Instead we sneak glances
With Half Closed eyes
And so I give you these
Twelve poems
In Seven Sections.
— Half Light
— Psyche and Eros
— Star Light
— Nightingale’s Song
— Visions and Dreams
— Eternity
yamabuki
June 2011

Labyrinth of Dreams

Labyrinth of Dreams – yamabuki
“Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, 
with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls 
married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up
the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails 
filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.”
— Pablo Neruda
“Nothing But Death”

Awakening
Lost in a Dream
Darkness returns
Dreamless sleep
yamabuki
June 2011