Have you ever been to Kyōto (京都) in Japan? As the
the seat of Japan’s imperial court from 794 to 1869 A.D., as many of you will know, it has many of Japan’s greatest temples and shrines, and at this time of the year it is one of the very best places in the country to observe the autumnal hues/fall colours as the leaves begin to turn. Naturally, this means it has been and remains a favourite haunt of artists and photographers.
Shown here is ‘Sangetsu-in (temple) in Kyōto’, a 1954 woodblock print created by Tōshi Yoshida (吉田 遠志 Yoshida Tōshi, 25 July, 1911 – 1 July, 1995), a Japanese printmaking artist associated with the sōsaku-hanga (創作版画, “creative prints”) movement, and son of shin-hanga (新版画, “new prints”) artist Hiroshi Yoshida (吉田 博 Yoshida Hiroshi, 19 September, 1876 – 5 April, 1950).
All Love asks is a heart to stay in;
A brave, true heart to be glad and gay in;
A garden of tender thoughts to play in;
A faith unswerving through cold or heat
Till the heart where Love lodges forgets to beat
“A Requiem For Reciprocity”
Do you remember
your first time?
Saying it in your head
or thinking out loud..
Trying to say it out loud..
Like, “I’m In Looooo……”
But you just can’t
bring yourself to say it..
Words stuck in your throat like fresh Popeyes biscuits..
Mouthing the words
You need to let her know..
Because not letting
her know would be an
omission of said affection..
Quick to compare perfection
to her milky complexion
as if the former couldn’t hope
to hold a light to her.
Wouldn’t fight for her
when the fight was just
to see how long
before imaginative thoughts
stemmed from perceived positions
on the couch
became more fluid with each shout
I’ve heard in silence.
Timeless this temperamental tirade
I’ve gained by loss in a trade
for the simplicity of affection….
Maybe our direction
in the pursuit of perfection
has stirred this tension between us….
Time passes in a timeless fashion.
Seconds, minutes, hours
feel like months and years.
Compilation of euphoric moments
condensed into brief instances.
Doing things seen as uncharacteristic
because, quite frankly, I loooooo…
… Just cause it’s Wednesday.
Which I’d like to use as euphemism.
Showered with material
things which serve as a
masquerade for my true intent.
Shallow veneer, I’d admit.
But what is one to do
when the words formed in
my brain won’t accurately
feelings are benign.
Just ripples in time that aren’t clear
until we stand still.
Life is always moving.
Is proving myself to you
really moving myself a few
Do your arms drape my shoulders
like they once did during embrace?
If I show but will not say,
will you still cover your face
in that pretentious cloak of indifference?
Isn’t it the experience that remains?
Are the memories in chains
or can they claim a holiday?
If my actions are ignored,
what I say should be implored
I’ve thought to speak
but convey better in movement.
If one’s voice trumps volition,
then we should look toward improvement…
I’ll muster up the
courage one day.
But for now, I’ll create a
circumference around my
heart and placing you on it’s radius.
not a care in the world.
A bee line through your
complexities to unveil the real you.
Manufactured uncertainties would
dare you to think ill of my intent..
me two steps back..
But to no avail.
Ambition lackluster at best
because in the fringes of your
brain you know that I’m here for you.
Emotions spontaneously combust
amongst the battle between
what you see versus what you feel.
And me, in all my angst, will
someday unsheathe how I truly feel.
And you, in all your glory, will
know what it feels like to be in…
….and when then arrives,
I’d advise against
the inclination to shy away.
The least bit of refrain
would only serve
to break open
an already raw wound
with exposed nerves
worn much further
than the sleeve discloses.
What one might suppose is
that we’ve been forever.
“That’s how old love acts.”
“That’s what years look like.”
Even when we look right,
we’ve flown dangerously
close to the left.
Maybe at best,
this is what is made of we.
I guess it was meant to be….
Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.
Heart-broken husband–weep no more;
Grief-stricken son–weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter –weep no more;
She only just gone home.
Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell of Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God’s big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.
And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death!
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!–Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.
And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they didn’t make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God’s command.
And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline.
She’s borne the burden and heat of the day,
She’s labored long in my vineyard,
And she’s tired–
Do down, Death, and bring her to me.
And Death didn’t say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Through heaven’s pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
on Death rode,
Leaving the lightning’s flash behind;
Straight down he came.
While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn’t see;
She saw Old Death.She saw Old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn’t frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I’m going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.
And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn’t feel no chill.
And death began to ride again–
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Caroline
On the loving breast of Jesus.
And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest.
Weep not–weep not,
She is not dead;
She’s resting in the bosom of Jesus.
by James Weldon Johnson
Other poems of JOHNSON (62)
“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.”