Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "tsukumogami"

This poem came out of the March 2012 Crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] jjhunter (see "Bakemono-san") and sponsored by her.


we're celebrating
the centennial year of
making landfall here

all our relatives
have become ancestors now --
there is no one left

all those who recalled
what it was to live on Earth
have since passed away

but they left us things
to remember their home by:
tsukumogami  (1)

this is the year when
the relics will come alive
and start to whisper:

karakasa-san,  (2)
tell us the taste of the rain
upon Mt. Fuji

geta-san,  what was  (3)
it like to hold kimono
hems above the Earth?

chawan-san,  recall  (4)
the color of the tea leaves
in Shizuoka

Old Man Entropy
has two beautiful daughters
who follow his path

Wabiko is the
Simple Girl who shows to us
humble rustic charms

Sabiko is the
Aging Girl who embodies
time's lovely changes

we brought them with us
from Earth: Old Man Entropy
and his two daughters

we found them here, too,
already waiting for us
when the ships touched down

remember us when we too
become ancestors

our lives are petals
on the summer wind of time,
lovely and fleeting

* * *

1) tsukumogami -- objects a hundred plus years old that have become sentient

2) karakasa -- traditional oil-paper umbrella (as opposed to 'bat-winged' Western umbrellas). The suffix -san   is a Japanese honorific, roughly equivalent to "Sir" or "Mrs." etc.

3) geta -- traditional wooden clogs worn with kimono to keep the delicate hem above the ground

4) chawan -- a tea bowl used in the traditional tea ceremony, prized for imperfections in its glaze

Tags: creative jam, cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing

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