Posted in Poetry

The Shrine Between Time

The vermilion poles pop up in pockets between

the office and skyscraper sheen.

A long wooden piece on top stretches out father

than the supporting boards under

as if they frame of a door

to something other.

A small white fox sits atop the left pole here

draped with a ring of sacred paper

to match the brother.

These little white creatures

once believed as messengers

for gods who would bring rice,

now are often forgotten

as we farm with mechanical device

to replace prayer with robotic care.

 

An efficient salaryman stops in rain

pausing a conversation on his phone

with his feet directed at the train.

With a solemn look, he taps the call away

and reaches into his pocket.

Nothing keeps the falling drops at bay

as he rings a bell-

once…twice…thrice…

so the kitsune will hear

he is there.

He tosses a coin which clatters

into a rough wood container.

After two claps, he bows his head

and murmurs into his hands.

 

Just behind him lies a road

with cars packed tight crawling home.

The cars honk loud

desperate to get out.

His suit gets soaked in minutes

as people run by on their business

shouting for taxis or

laughing with friends or

stumbling with early drinks or

singing a song.

Still yet the kitsune stand

to listen to this man.

 

Many years ago a priest

in white robes thought to appease

a rice god with his service.

He carves out a place with purpose

meant to last beyond trees or stone

protected by the leaders yet unknown.

And so be it war or strife or peace

the prayers spoken would ease

the worries of mortal souls

trapped in bankrolls.

 

With a final bow, he runs away

briefcase in hand,

leaving the shrine behind

caught between time.

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Author:

Life in Japan suits me, so I write about it.

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