HAIKU FOR BASHO a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku for Basho a poem by Yuri Kageyama

May 3, 2022

眼差しを

無に流すかな

芭蕉のかわ

He is still watching,

Though washed away to nothing-

Ness, Basho’s River

SHADOW a poem by YURI KAGEYAMA

Photo by Tennessee Reed

SHADOW a poem written for the Poetry Challenge May 1, 2022

By Yuri Kageyama

when young,

one thinks of what

one will become

or what one

wants to be

^___<

as years pass,

we realize

what we are seen as

doesn’t really

matter

^___<

what matters

is who we really are

how we live

what it is that we do

day by day

^___<

which is not

the same thing

at all

that is what counts

in the end

THE AFTERLIFE A poem BY YURI KAGEYAMA

THE AFTERLIFE

A poem by Yuri Kageyama Feb. 23, 2022

The mass of meat

In a heap like a grave,

Cold, still

Amid wafting incense,

The moans and chants of mourning,

Eyes closed, hands clasped

Frozen in motion,

I lose interest:

Those motions of burial and propriety,

Those greetings, sympathy, tears;

He is no longer there,

Not in that body,  

Twitching twisting growling in incoherence,

More and more silent

Over the years,

He is no longer there:

At last,

He is gone

Haiku March 24, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku March 24, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

つえをつき

見上げる空に

初桜

Cane in his hand,

He looks up for a long time

First cherry blossoms

The world suddenly looks like a splendid and hopeful place when sakura starts to bloom, right about this time in Tokyo. It happens without fail every year. But it’s so dazzling it feels unexpected. This morning, an old man was gazing up at a tree, probably the first cherry blossom tree he saw on his walk. His eyes, behind the glasses, I knew had seen so much, and was seeing all of that, again, in the flowers.

GIFTS FROM THE DEAD a poem by Yuri Kageyama

GIFTS FROM THE DEAD
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Graves are always There
for those Who are still
Alive to Forgive
Accept Reconcile.
They don’t Speak Back.
They don’t expect much
because
they are ready
to be Forgotten
if not
really already
Forgotten.
So when You
Go There, You
will Be Forgiven:
Grave are Gifts
from the Dead
for the Living.

At a temple in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

At a temple in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Yuri Kageyama.

My Poem “ode to the stroller” now part of the Public Poetry Series

My Poem “ode to the stroller” now part of the Public Poetry Series.
Poetry by Yuri Kageyama.
Read by Hirokazu “Jackson” Suyama.
Film by Adam Lewis.

we zip weightless like silent angels
up and down San Francisco hills
running on the mother of all energy
greener than solar
rolling rolling rolling
with laughter
cream acid rock ‘n’ rolling
lightning dazzling wheels
gara-gara-gara-gara
teethers jangling dangling dancing
going mad on strangle-free rubbery ribbons
up and down the Avenues
J-town, Clement Street
Golden Gate Park
Museum of Modern Art
we are singing:
“Ouma no oyako wa nakayoshi koyoshi
itsudemo issho ni pokkuri pokkuri aruku”
perfume wind in our hair
springing over potholes
not even stopping just for breast feeds
connected as one through this magical machine
me pushing
you riding
the Lamborghini of strollers
the Gundam of strollers
the little train that could of strollers
up up up into the joyous clouds
zooming wheeeeee
down slurping slopes
around swervacious curves
we are one
yes, we are one
tied in the past with our
umbilical cord
and
even in death
in our dreams

a poem for Kenji Goto, a journalist, Feb. 1, 2015, by Yuri Kageyama

a poem for Kenji Goto, a journalist, Feb. 1, 2015
by Yuri Kageyama

i have already written about you
another journalist
your story as a hostage
somewhere far away
in a wind-blowing desert
your story about
how it all ended
today
i do not know you
but i have to write something
else for you
this poem
it just doesn’t seem right
unless i do
people say you cared
you were great to work with
you will live on in our hearts
you laugh in your own videos
“No matter what happens to me,”
you say before you leave,
“I will always love the people of Syria.”
you are calm
you look straight into the camera
you are gentle in your death
you are brave in your death
i just have to write this
in even that video
you are beautiful

HIROSHIMA a poem by Yuri Kageyama read with Kaoru Watanabe

HIROSHIMA

A poem by Yuri Kageyama
A reading by Yuri Kageyama
With Kaoru Watanabe of Kodo on fue flute, taiko drum and other percussion.
Recorded at Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Studio in Brooklyn New York
For a memorial for poet, publisher and educator Virgina Scott at Lehman College, the Bronx, New York
September 20, 2014.

they wander like a whisper
still
over this city
blending with the sea breeze
the soft light
the cracks of scars
not just one ghost or two
but tens of thousands
who all looked up and saw a flash
turning people into dead globs of charcoal;
there are no photos from that day,
they wander, crawling, naked, moaning,
flesh hanging like tatters;
they’re asking that question,
we did nothing wrong
why oh why
when all it can do is
kill kill kill kill
nothing else
turning skin eyeballs laughter head back legs
into a keloid of hell,
but no one really answers.

IMG_3244 kaoru

This is what death feels like _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

This is what death feels like
a poem by Yuri Kageyama

it is the end
you are gone
no more
it is only a dream so i
decide this must be what death is like
not your death, but my own
it is the end
you are gone
no more
my throat is hot with weeping
my eyes are blind from searching for you
my heart is bleeding with emptiness
it is the end
you are gone
no more
how can i keep on living
knowing only this waits ahead, i can’t,
this certain separation, this death
it is the end
you are gone
no more
but wait, this calm i own
when you are here now, close by,
or not so close, but somewhere
it is the end
you are gone
no more
this is what death feels like
i am always close to you, total, perfect
and it doesn’t matter
it is the end
you are gone
no more

HIROSHIMA _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

hiroshima
photo by Yuri Kageyama

HIROSHIMA
a poem by Yuri Kageyama and the Yuricane

Hirokazu Suyama on drums, Hiroshi Tokieda on bass and Yuuichiro Ishii on guitar.
Film by Adam Lewis.
At the Japan Writers Conference in Okinawa Nov. 2, 2013.

they wander like a whisper
still
over this city
blending with the sea breeze
the soft light
the cracks of scars
not just one ghost or two
but tens of thousands
who all looked up and saw a flash
turning people into dead globs of charcoal;
there are no photos from that day,
they wander, crawling, naked, moaning,
flesh hanging like tatters;
they’re asking that question,
we did nothing wrong
why oh why
when all it can do is
kill kill kill kill
nothing else
turning skin eyeballs laughter head back legs
into a keloid of hell,
but no one really answers.