Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gentle Koyoshi


Gentle Koyoshi,
scorned, cast out by family,
"You're no husband, you're no father," they yell
forcing upon him a life of solitude;
days of wandering,
finally takes refuge in a garden shack between two trees,
too proud to accept charity,
owner lets him stay in exchange for chores,
breakfast is part of the deal;
Koyoshi, ever in his own world,
joins us at table,
never talks much to his surrogate kin,
quietly sips his tea,
now and then lifts his head to smile, eyes twinkling,
gets up from the table without a word,
gently exhales
shuffles back to his shack
a man of quiet earth tones, a golden light within.



(I'm such a sentimental fool.)

18 comments:

Green said...

You are not "a sentimental fool", Michael.
You have such a wonderful gift from nature.

Michael said...

Hi Greensleeves,

I only work with what wonderful people like you give me.

Dan said...

hi michael,
just wanted to apologise if i came off as a little aggressive on brad's blog. had a super stressful day cos i had my last exam at uni and my brain still feels kind of full up with too much information. .
anyway just thought i should say something. no hard feelings i hope!
dan

Michael said...

Hello Dan,

No problem! I have days like that just about every day, and my reaction often isn't what I'd like it to be. Comes with the territory of being human. :)

mrsbeach said...

That was great Michael. I see the twinkle, and you can almost feel "the golden light" within.
I leave with a feeling of sadness for the man, but at the same time I am envious.
Have a great weekend!

Matt said...

What a great little story, thanks Michael :)

Michael said...

Hi Beachy, Matt,

Thanks! The other day, I read a post on my friend Greensleeves' blog (you can find out about her to your left; hers is the topmost comment). She was describing a childhood memory from Japan that truly moved me, and I wrote a little something about it, taking a little poetic license in the process. The photo I used to illustrate the post was taken by me in Kyoto about eight or nine years ago. I thought this was the perfect photo for my blog story of Koyoshi.

anu said...

Michael, you are a wonderful person...now maybe you will say, i am a sentimental fool :)

Michael said...

My dear Anu,

I can think of no better company than you with whom to be sentimentally foolish together. :)

anu said...

Neither me, LOL :)

Just realised that, i did not comment on the post at all. Now-a-days, the essence of the person behind the writings, seems to so stand out, that it ends up dominating my comments, rather than the content of the post itself.

Loved how you so gently and lovingly described the gentle koyoshi.

He will be so happy to read this entry :)

Phats said...

I have been meaning to get back by here after Christmas and see how you are doing, and I just plain got busy. I am glad to see you're doing good, and I can relate to getting good news on counts!

You're not a sentimental fool, possibly a fool but not sentimental ;) haha

g said...

That was surely a fine match between your photo and the memorable Koyoshi.

Do you have any other original portraits you could post?

miki said...

Mihcael,you really understand Japanease culture,I feel. Tottemo sutekina shi desu.Tottemo ii shi desu.Be proud of your gift,please.

Michael said...

Anu, Phats, g, Miki,

Thank you all so much! Phats, good to hear from you again. I was wondering where you were.
The photo I used for the Koyoshi post comes from my Web site of photos I took while living in Japan, www.sliceofjapan.com. He isn't Koyoshi; rather, he's a Taoist priest who lives at a very famous Shinto shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha, near Kyoto. I thought the photo was a good match for my poem.

g said...

Yes, a very good match, and I was wondering if you would consider posting another of your portraits, with a comparable original matching poem?

It was quite a nice coupling you did with the Koyoshi piece. I mean, we took one face, and applied it to another life, and this was, for me, a mind jogging exercise.

Michael said...

Ah, thank you, g! I'll try.

phoenix said...

First time here. Your poetry and pictures come from a very deep personage... and one I will have to "view" more often. Thank you for allowing me into a piece of what is you.

Michael said...

Welcome, Phoenix, and thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving such kind words!