白桃Hakutō – 黒竜Kokuryū White Peach – Black Dragon

For dVerse Poetics today, Claudia is asking us for poems with layers – like part of a symphony or intricate painting or the layers of an onion. I took as my cue, the ages old Simon and Garfunkel’s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme -two different songs, two different thoughts woven together.

I couldn’t help but notice that sweet Southern boy
At the Saturday night VFW dance
With eyes the color of a cloudless May sky
(I was told long ago: Never look into the eyes of a dragon –
      His gaze will capture you and you will be lost,
      But I looked too long into his eyes,
      Brown, liquid and disturbingly male.
      His eyes lifted and trapped mine).
And light brown hair that curled.
He two stepped and waltzed with perfect rhythm and grace –
White cotton oxford shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows.
And jeans that hugged him –
      (He looked like he had stepped out of a time machine –
      black silk hakama, hair in a warrior’s knot –
      in his obi the two swords – daisho.)
The girls and the women, oh yes, the women
Stood on the sidelines –
The girls with pleading in their eyes
And the women gazing with knowledge.
(To myself I murmured “Kokuryū” – Black Dragon)
He danced with girl after girl after woman after woman.
And then, he chose me, pulling me close so I could smell
The fresh air and sunshine in his shirt
And the Ivory soap with which he had bathed.
      (And there was about him a wildness,
      a smell of cold fresh water rushing over rocks.)
Up against him during that slow dance
Was magic and when the band pounded out the next song
– he didn’t let me go.
And outside, on the dark end of the porch he kissed me.
      (And there was about him a heat, like the skin of a dragon
      And a strength like the wings of a dragon lifting upward beyond the sun)
His lips full and soft and sweet
And when I took them between my teeth
I wanted to devour him – instead later,  savored him,
His skin like sun warmed velvet under my hands
And again, that honeyed juicy mouth.
      (And later, he kissed my fingers as he placed in them
      A branch of perfect cherry blossoms – kanzen sakura – he whispered)
And I sighed because summer was short
And perfectly ripe peaches don’t last for long.
      (I could only stand and watch as he flew back to his mountain.
      And a loneliness about him, like a dragon curled
      about himself in the depths of faraway cave –
      “Kokuryū” – Black dragon.)

1897 Ogata Gekkō's Views of Mount Fuji.

1897 Ogata Gekkō’s Views of Mount Fuji.

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. claudia
    May 12, 2015 @ 15:53:00

    hmmm… what a nice heat to this… i like how you describe him – also including scent…hmmm… sometimes it’s all about enjoying the peaches while they last and don’t worry about the next day…


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    May 12, 2015 @ 15:54:07

    Oh,. first I corrected your link.. I like your idea to weave two poems together.. somehow this could work as flashbacks (which we should do sometimes).. the black dragon and the blue-eyed boy are somehow opposites that gives a very nice contrast when you weave it together.. ..


    • kanzensakura
      May 12, 2015 @ 15:57:48

      Thank you Bjorn for correcting for me. I am link challenged – I copy and paste and the dang thing 9/10 of the time will be wrong.

      I hadn’t thought of flashbacks…that’s a most excellent idea


  3. Glenn Buttkus
    May 12, 2015 @ 15:58:53

    OMG, this one blew my socks off, leap-frogging from west to east, from barn dance honky tonk to the bushido realm of black silk dragons; your juxtaposition is seamless, the contrast layers perfectly blended. This is my new favorite of your poetics, for it more than rocks the prompt, it kicks the walls down with Laredo alligator boots, slicing through the mists of time, legend, & place with blades of thrice rolled steel–& how lovely to work your moniker into the mix. I love the lines /and there was about him a wildness/a smell of cold fresh water rushing over rocks/. Best of the best, damn fine work!!!!!!


    • kanzensakura
      May 12, 2015 @ 16:03:57

      I am blushing. Thank you Glenn. And after all, the Black Dragon Samurai was the one who named me all those years ago. And I am a mishmash of East meets South meets West.


  4. Opal Onyx
    May 12, 2015 @ 16:00:22

    ” Brown, liquid and disturbingly male.” Ha!

    “And I sighed because summer was short” This is my favorite line. It says SO much in just a few words.


  5. kanzensakura
    May 12, 2015 @ 16:04:56

    Summer is short – gotta enjoy those peaches while you can and smell those summer roses.


  6. whimsygizmo
    May 12, 2015 @ 16:47:11

    Woven well, and gently spilled. Beautiful.


  7. Mary
    May 12, 2015 @ 18:45:07

    Really loved how you brought this character to life….his eyes, his hair, the way he waltzed, and then how he chose you! And what a sensual kiss, one to savor as well as to remember. Your poem was intricately layered with well chosen details. And, hey, if summer is short one has to enjoy these opportunities as they present themselves. Bravo for a well-written piece!


  8. Hannah Gosselin
    May 12, 2015 @ 20:15:10

    This is really rich and sensory inducing – an intoxicating write!!


  9. georgeplace2013
    May 12, 2015 @ 20:55:22

    Exquisite. I love the story in italics, brilliant idea…. and “And I sighed because summer was short
    And perfectly ripe peaches don’t last for long.”


  10. Gabriella
    May 12, 2015 @ 21:06:36

    This is a very visual and sensual scene. I like that we make us see, smell, feel, hear and taste. You did a great job!


  11. el34ax7
    May 12, 2015 @ 22:31:53

    Think I’ll take a cold shower after this one. My Miss Kanzensakura, your words are full of a passion and earnestness that I can only hope to acquire.

    I bow to you

    m(_ _)m



  12. MarinaSofia
    May 13, 2015 @ 01:37:57

    What a vivid evocation of high school years and dances, but then the ‘Eastern’ flavoured poem adds a timelessness and depth. Both of them together make for something very sensual and attractive.
    By the way, I made a mistake yesterday and thought your link was the Opal Onyx one, so was asking about the banana layer cake over there. Now that I see your poem in action, I can guess what the Southern Banana Cake might be…


  13. katiemiafrederick
    May 13, 2015 @ 02:09:36

    Yes.. the match that rubs across the dragons and peaches of youth in dance or not.. is certainly friction for an intoxicating way of living..:)


  14. gpcox
    May 13, 2015 @ 07:07:33

    I can see you did quite a bit of work here and it shows – an excellent job.


  15. Let's CUT the Crap!
    May 13, 2015 @ 08:35:44

    Sigh. For the time it took to read this stunning writing, I felt young and breathless again. I find a wonderful balance in your poetry and always, always, a quiet calm and fluidity like a silent movie. I’m always drawn in because your poems are irresistible. ❤ ❤ ❤


  16. Kathy Reed
    May 13, 2015 @ 10:42:33

    Ingenious! Quite the melding of two very different backgrounds..loved the ivory soap detail..


  17. Ninot Aziz
    May 13, 2015 @ 11:01:23


    In Asian culture, the were beings are part and parcel of our legends and stories. Children grow up being cautioned and frightened into obedience with these fables.

    Loved your understanding of this heritage of ours.


    • kanzensakura
      May 13, 2015 @ 13:27:37

      Thank you. I think many children, all over the world were frightened into obedience by scary creatures. My parents used to frighten me telling me about a “demon clown”. To this day I can’t bear clowns.


  18. Linda Kruschke
    May 13, 2015 @ 16:58:21

    By the end I had lost the sweet Southern boy in the black dragon, and the dragon was all that remained as he flew away. Very nice take on the prompt. Peace, Linda


  19. Bryan Ens
    May 13, 2015 @ 18:27:56

    love how he smelled of cold water rushing over rocks. A very sensual piece.


  20. mishunderstood
    May 13, 2015 @ 23:13:22

    This is so vivid…so beautifully written. The musings in italics make this an exciting read…layers of thoughts and images. Loved it.


  21. Desmond, Anthony (@iamEPanthony)
    May 14, 2015 @ 00:32:25

    Pure genius. The part about the eyes really stands out… brown and liquid, disturbingly male… like a painting; you even captured the smallest of details. Masterful.


  22. E. Rawls
    May 14, 2015 @ 22:54:54

    I love these descriptions, it drew me in. I especially like the black dragon; dragons are one of my favorite creatures from legends.


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