Saturday, May 28, 2016


i was reading a poem
about Japanese poetry
and wondered when wolves
disappeared from Japan.

a hundred years ago,
evidently. or less.
               there continue to be reports
of sightings. their ghosts
roam the mountains,
guarding secrets, or myths;
their presence fugitive
on paths that lead one home.

poetry sometimes feels like that:
misty, indistinct mountains
                                          and fog
in a foreign land, where
i am a foreigner.
language places me in exile.
                                           (which language?)

the problem of language
is exactly that
i don’t think that means what
you think that means,
are you talking about –
or why wolves disappear?
how they haunt the land still,
and the tale of their wisdom
is shared mouth to ear
and ear to mouth;
an offering left by the door,
or a window.

poetry in this land is gossip,
something familiar shared
between friends,
or a gift to make one.
let me offer you a story;
i cannot vouch for its accuracy.

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