POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

gunmetal blue and grey; the clouds roll toward
the darkened city; atmospheric hush -
the only lights the gentle upper flush
on highest cloudbank, advertising boards
and scattered blinking beacons; like a chord’s
crescendo, in the storm’s approaching rush
the evening seems to pivot, broaden, crush
all other thoughts; this cannot be ignored…

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POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

the storm has lifted, morning skies have cleared;
below, the humid, misty street lies still;
the doom-barrage of thunderclaps that filled
our room at midnight, seizing me with fear,
has long abated; all that i now hear
are tires carving miniature rills
when sluicing through low flood-pools, and the trill
of sodden songbirds’ damp, undaunted cheer…

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POETRY

sonnet.

image: copyright-free from wikipedia.

the pines that clutch the highest mountain crest -
wind-blasted, withered, agonized and bare,
bowed low as if enfeebled by the air;
as venerable elders (forced to rest
on canes, deformed by gravity, oppressed
by time and stress) will shed their shrivelled hair,
the needles of these pines are scarcely there,
thinned out by altitude’s incessant…

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POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

refracted lamplight quivers as the drops
of slacking drizzle pluck the puddle-streaks;
it hasn’t rained in unremitting weeks
of sun-strike. now the thickened runoff plops
and splats from branches; pot-bound urban crops
unbend, unfurling withered fronds to seek
brief saturation. sodden squirrels sneak
down power-lines; the downpour slowly stops.

the final droplet-bombs make puddles twitch;
red taillight-smudges shatter into sparks,
quick ripples flaring on the viscous street -

photonic fingers striking chords, their pitch
inaudible, their incandescent arcs
now tapering, their fluid fugue complete.

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POETRY

sonnet.

Hiroshige, The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, Rain Shower at Shōno from wikipedia.

more things should be umbrella-like; set up
collapsibly, thus quickly stowed or thrown
beneath an armpit, lightly borne alone;
as when, on hiking trips, you sit to sup
and use a mat, a kettle, and a cup
et cetera - you don’t bring bulky stone,
but bamboo, twine and tin. heft all you own,
as mother dogs…

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POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

the alleyway, encountered on a stroll -
damp wreckage of a battle with decay;
bamboo and rusted oil-drums lashed with frayed
electric cables; food-cart stowage, bowls
on wire-hanger hooks; dustbins of coals
steam sticky rice; fresh produce is arrayed
on rain-soaked plywood; midday nappers sway
in knotted-trash-bag hammocks they’ve unrolled.

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POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

the mangy, rheumy-eyed and rawboned stray
limps sniffing toward you while you scan the map.
your choice - stay on this catwalk, feeling trapped,
or gamble on the thicket? hard to say
which path has fewer dogs, and your delay
has roused a few from their accustomed nap.
your wife storms off, her nerves and patience…

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sonnet.

photo by author.

the days are shorter now. the rains have come
again; the rebar’s rusted at the site
across the street - poured concrete’s halted height
sprouts metal stubble. when resumed, will some
intrinsic flaw within this structure hum,
reverberating through the humid night,
a sign this rust is lurking - hidden blight,
an ill-formed tuning fork that jars…

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POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

the gentle glow that gilds the upper tips
of topmost branches in the steaming dew
(young leaves, translucent, let the photons through,
suffusing treetops), light that almost drips
like ghee or honey, spreading slowly, slips
across the canopy; the world renews -
diurnal brightening of upper blue
as coffee-addicts slurp initial sips…

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POETRY

sonnet.

photo by author.

a leaf-strewn playground, fire-department shed -
autumnal motomachi’s quiet square
abuts the bluff; stone lanterns flanking stairs
below the shrine. distracted walking’s led
you here - at dusk, and suffering. your head
inclined, you mime a pilgrim’s claps (aware
you’re out of place, imagining the glares
of locals - foreigner’s self-conscious dread)…

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