The River _ a poem in the spirit of Hart Crane _ by Yuri Kageyama

The River with effects by Christopher Robert

The River with effects by Christopher Robert

The River
_ a poem in the spirit of Hart Crane _ by Yuri Kageyama

The River

Katsushika Hokusai’s hawks
Still eye this Sumida River
Crying their fue whistles
Echoing music on scuttling boats,
Carrying workers, travelers, modern-day geisha _
Some rickety, faded lanterns dangling,
Other ships are futuristic tubes of glass;
The torrents are dark with the wind,
Torn dreams of star-crossed lovers
Jumping tied by cloth as one
From the Kachidoki Bridge
No longer a draw-bridge, separating at the center,
The winding waves glisten in tips of white
Like the wings of seagulls that flutter
Only during the fall and winter seasons,

The River

In the rain, darting sideways sumi strokes,
Tiny people scamper across the landscape
The O-Edo “salarymen” and the “office lady” O-Ls
Faceless, hustling proletarian lives
Clasping sheer convenience-store umbrellas
Not the woven straw hats of the past
Tokyo Tower to the left
Sky Tree to the right
Stirring distant eternal visions,
Swimming in the Seine,
Sumida’s Sister River,
And Van Gogh’s deranged mind,
Sashaying to the ocean and the connecting skies,
Where the sun sets again,
Bleeding purple among wispy twisted clouds;
And the River churns,
Remembering glory,
Knowing sin
Through an anonymous city of lights

The River

(II)
The Birds

Kabuki’s answer to the Pelican
The Flamingo, the Albatross,
The Heron swoops through the sky
Perches so perfectly on a pine _
A princess in mirrored waters;

The humble Comorant
Dives beneath muddy waters,
Spreading battered wings to dry,
But in flight transforms _
A forgotten Black Swan;

The Sparrow plays, chirping staccatos,
Small furs of speckled brownness,
They play always searching
Like a lost forlorn child _
Unchanged from Issa’s poems.

the river with boats