Anata ga inakute totemo samishii desu

You left years ago

Today:  Memories can’t fill

empty arms.  Cold ashes from

White hot passion blow

Like ghosts through my waking dreams.

And the love spans oceans still.

Nights in White Satin – For 雅

I did not write this song, but I wish I did….A song from my misspent youth.  It is in my mind today.  The song was performed b the Moody Blues.  It is not printed in its entirety – only what keeps playing in my head.  The music is haunting and sometimes wistful, other times dramatic

Nights in white satin,

Never reaching the end.

Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send.

Beauty I’d always missed

With these eyes before.

Just what the truth is

I can’t say anymore.

’cause I love you. Oh how I love you.

The Tee Shirt – 02/01/1987 – 02/01/2013

In the back of my closet,
In the darkest corner behind and
Under other innocuous cardboard boxes,
is the cardboard coffin containing
the detritus of a past life.
In the bottom of that box is
Your teeshirt, worn the last night
We were together.
Quadruple plastic bags, sealed,
One in the other, guarding the tee shirt.
Rarely, I pull the box out.
I sift through memories:
The chopsticks you gave me on our first date.
Your shaving mug with the last bit
Of soap sealed in its own bag.
Cards, haiku, stubs to Springsteen concerts,
A black and white photo of you at the age of six.
A black and white photo of you in the library
At the University of London.
Cherry blossoms long since turned to dust,
Our sake set.
The tee shirt.
When I am feeling extremely
Masochistic, I pull out the shirt.
I close my eyes and flagellate myself
Until my soul is ragged and bloody
With memories.
Only then can I open the bags with the shirt.
Open each until I can touch the tee shirt.
Inhale deeply the scent. After all
This time, it still smells of you.
I gently touch inside
The shirt, where it last touched your skin.
Sandalwood, whiff of jasmine, the unique
Smell of you mingled with the other smells.
I close my eyes. Your face as you said goodbye.
You didn’t have to go back.
You could have stayed.
Over and over and over, back and forth.
I didn’t have to stay.
I could have gone with you.
Over and over and over, back and forth.
I touched your face and your lips,
Damp with tears that would not be stopped.
You said, “I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul.”
I turned and walked away.
I did not look back.
I sat in my car being ripped apart
By grief, by love, by…….I don’t know.
I finally drove away.
On my pillow lay you tee shirt.
A sacred shroud, I put it away,
Sealed it safely from light and harm.
One last smell before the ritual
Re-sealing of the bag,
Inside the other bags,
Stowing away at the bottom of the box.
Sliding back to the darkest corner of the closet
And re-stacking the other boxes.
Closing the closet door
Walking away – again.


At last, it has come
To this.  Resolution hangs
To the branch like a

Maple leaf in autumn
Or cherry blossoms in spring
Or snow caught between

The trunk and the branch.
Nothing lasts.

November 6, 1987 The Braid

The night we stood on the walkway of the bridge
Looking up at the full moon.
You looked down at its reflection on the river,
And said to me, Do you want the moon?
I’ll go down, get, and bring it to you,
A double handful at a time.
I looked up into your eyes
And saw you were speaking truth.
You are all I want. You are enough.
One year ago to the day
You had looked through your men
At me and said, your hair smells of Mitsouko.
And gently touched the long braid of my hair.

Seven years later, I stand at the same place
On the walkway of the bridge, alone.
You left a year ago.

You loved my hair – thick and wavy with occasional threads of
White. Soft and fine as a silk thread you told me.
You’d bury your face in it
After you had taken off the silly
Rubber band I used to hold the end of the braid,
Or after you had pulled out one of the kanzashi
You brought me back, watching
As my hair flowed down.
“nagareochiru taki” You would whisper.
“Sono taki wa kirei desu.”

I stand now in the same place you stood.
I try to reach back to
Those years ago you offered me the moon.
I try to pull together the essence of you
Tight around me like a cocoon.
My heart seeks the smell of you:
Bee and flower sandalwood soap, surgical scrub,
The heady musk of your skin.

Only the moonless night and the green cold
Smell of the river are with me on the bridge.
I pull scissors from my bag and begin to
Cut my braid at my nape.
It still smells of Mitsouko.
I throw it down into the river.
The river swallows it and keeps
Its secrets.


Smell of leaves burning
Still lingers from my neighbor’s earlier fire.
Early November
The night is crisp and dry.
No frost tonight.
No moonlight.
I stand and breathe in the spicy fragrance
Of fallen leaves and the ashes of burned
Leaves left behind.
I stand and survey the woods,
Blacker than the night.
They seem to be the shadows of
Days past – bare, dormant, almost invisible.
I pull my cape closer around me.
An empty embrace that only brings
A bit of physical warmth.
My soul still shivers.
I would wander into the dark woods
But  I cannot see the path.
I stand and gaze
At the shadows of days past
Until my vision blurs
And I am blinded by bitter tears.

Moonlight, Kendo, Coffee spoons, Perfect Cherry Blossoms, and Springsteen


Regret, melancholy, walling oneself up alive,
Breaking down the wall,
Blowing that spark into a fire,
Doing kendo in the dark.
We make choices
We make sacrifices
We love deeply and intensely
We seek perfection and only at the last moment
Do we realize a thing was perfect all the time.
Living life by carefully dipped measures
Afraid to move to take chances to open up again.
But being brave enough to let the wind of change
Turn that last spark in us into a conflagration.
Turning up the MP3 full blast
Springsteen in all his rampant pounding wailing.
Dancing in the moonlight,
Doing kendo in the dark.
Lifting my shinai to the moon
And laughing aloud.
I remember when I taught my love how to dance
How to rhumba to jive to hustle
How to move his hips and shake his butt
He taught me how to do kendo in the dark.
Now I’m learning again.
I’m not bricking up that wall again.
I’m piling up perfect cherry blossoms
In all the cracks of my days.
Decadent display of pink and white.
I’m driving too fast and listening
To Springsteen too loud.
(Oops girl, slow down – that county mountie
Looked too hard at you whizzing past!) <huge grin>
I’m not measuring the moonlight
By coffee spoons.
I’m bathing in it and being profligate.
No regrets, no retreat, no surrender.
I’m starting a fire.
I’m relighting passion
I’m thinking of love
And doing kendo in the dark.

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