Bled My Raindrops (day 2120)

Listen to raindrops fall
I thought I heard to let it go
Sadness in an old song
And my heart is letting go
To me, I’m still beating there
Go back, take the slower track
In a mind of losing me
I called out to a golden eagle
Take me to the sun
Today I ran today I run
Today I found a trail
Through a suffering forest
They call Ancient Wisdom
I led my heart
Through the roots
To place it at a base
Of Old Man Beard and his setting sun
That bled my raindrops dry.

Shawnigan Lake - Ned Tobin

Cracking Ice (day 2078)

I awoke with two round moons
Holding my hands
Asking me to cherish
Each breath I was given to take
I slowly drew one in
And icicles formed on my beard
Tingling each lung
One quiver at a time
Until my thoughts all vanished
Like the sounds of cracking ice
And light arose
From tips of frozen fir
Grand Douglas firs
Silhouetted as snowy boughs
That stood watch
One more evening.

Moon at Midnight – Part VI (day 1980)

(part V)

As my footsteps changed slope from uphill to downhill
I crested into a new valley
It was a particularly notable valley cresting
For the view I was afforded stretched from tip to bow
At the far end I could see a tail of smoke rising steady
Hovering for some time at the cloud line
Making its ever looming presence felt
As I looked down and stepped between the pebbles
Dodging in and out of the single-path trail I had been following.

My memory floated back to a woman I once had known
A woman whose smile touched the very essence of a man
Changing him instantly to a friend, forever
I had last seen her walking out of the tack store
In preparation to depart with a fresh pack of jerky
And enough rice to keep me a while,
She had asked where I was off to
And I told her what had honestly come to mind
I shared with her my dream of this land
With leaves the size of a horses head
With trees that bled sugar and turned as red as wine
She looked at me and shaked her head
Scolding that all us men ever want is our devil juice
I explained to her it wasn’t so,
She smiled and knew she was scolding the wrong man
I asked her if she would like to join me
An honest man on an honest journey
To a land beyond, to the East
But she had only replied in jest
Saying: “Honey, I’ve got too many mouths to feed.”

I started at a cracking branch
To my left, not 7 meters away,
I looked and staring back at me
Was a moose, hovering way above my head
He was looking straight at me
Antlers standing so tall and proud
Chewing on a tuft of a shrub
That hung down from the left side of his mouth
He snorted softly as he stared at me
Demanding I respect his space
I nodded back, gave a grunt
And quickly scanned the nearby forest
For any signs of a calf around.

My footstep didn’t stop
Rather, they kept along the trail I went
My heart beating loudly in my cool breath
The words of many an elder echoed in my mind:
“Moose are more aggressive then bears.”
I instinctively touched the blade
That rested at my hip
Foolish to think that such a weapon
Could disengage such a large beast so strong
I couldn’t feel the beast charging
Though I looked to check just in case.

I didn’t relax until I was over the next bend
Which didn’t take long to get
The familiar sound of a creek returned to my ears
No longer wise words warning and uncontrolled heartbeat
Echoing through my every breath
I softly observed the old man’s beard
Growing thicker as I descended into the valley below
Moss crawling higher up trunks of the silent giants
Experienced woods folk always say
That the birds will all be silent when there’s a predator around
So the light whistling of the forest’s inhabitants
The unique call of a raven
Calmed my senses once again.

When I reached a small opening
I dipped my hands in and splashed the fresh creek’s water
To my face, to wash the cold sweat that had gathered
I recognized bear droppings
A short distance from where I sat to rest
Looking at least a week old now
No danger for me, at least for the present
But a sign that they are around
And perhaps some tasty berries, too.

part VII

20151124-vancouver-island-victoria-port-renfrew-trestle-ned-tobin-8

The Fifth (day 841)

There were five impressions there that day
Two belonged to the Emperor King
Child though he was, vast was his arm
One belonged to the lady tea dealer
Powdered face and blood red kimono
Shimada and the Golden Lotus
Black trim like a bleeding matchbox
The fourth belonged to the fat man Hojiju
Business tycoon but despicable patron
Beard so long it caught fallen crumbs
A neck so indulged it sweat on its own
A stomach sized so large it was custom made
His breath so grotesque nearby flowers wilted

And the fifth, sigh.. the fifth
Well, the fifth is a story
Designed for only respectable ears
Those ears entirely ready to be cured
To be enlightened upon a new journey
Through and over finer paths in life
Along shallow waters edge
Where the spring tips of sakura blood
Flutter in the wind to float on away

The fifth is a story of love and then lost
A heart that danced so lightly on lilies
In the sweet summers pond, so lively with life
A story of silent bicycles rolling through
Low hanging lanes of public parks
Along delightful gardens intricately cared for
Dazzling with brilliant colors
Like a van Gogh day lit dream

And when love effects them
When love finds it’s sacred ground amongst
Great boulder rocks and tiny bonsai
When love settles the folds of a deep blue kimono
Flushing the face free of all blood
With tender thoughts of a young brides countenance
Then, at that moment is when the fifth enters
Along with its strong jawed suitor
In new business formal

But it wasn’t there that the fifth stopped its journey
A sleek rickshaw and a sturdy set of legs
Cobbly streets and dimly lit alleys
Hushed movements behind closed rice paper dividers
And sandals displayed in all sorts of hurry
Emotions rolling down the window like raindrops in the night
Comforting morning departures, comforting silence
Comforting ebb and flow, engagement
Rolling through like smoke
From a freshly extinguished candle
Escaping out through ill-fitting woodwork
Of ancient architecture
And passing through the heart of a lamenting maiden
Deep amongst the last haiku
Beside tokens with memories
Beneath bamboo thatched covers
Protected by fine silken layers

Here lies the fifth
Forbidden from all eyes but two
Forbidden from all hearts but one
Forbidden from all souls but one
Forbidden and almost forgotten
But sacred, and coveted
And lost

photo-6
Photo: Kana Yamashita