My Mother’s Mink _ A poem by Yuri Kageyama

My Mother’s Mink

A poem by Yuri Kageyama

my mother’s mink

sleeps in a drawer

so silken soft;

she longed for it

like her jewels,

a bit of an embarrassment;

the Marilyn Monroe generation,

she went to college, spoke English

my mother’s mink

silent like a corpse,

all the fuzzy rodents,

womb cradling fetus;

once there was life;

I can’t get myself to

throw it out  

but I will never wear it


My Poetry in Life and Legends

My poetry is in great company here in LIFE AND LEGENDS Twelfth Edition
July 15, 2022, Irvine, CA, USA. Thanks to the Editor-in-Chief: Kalpna Singh-Chitnis.

HAIKU FOR BASHO a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku for Basho a poem by Yuri Kageyama

May 3, 2022




He is still watching,

Though washed away to nothing-

Ness, Basho’s River


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



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



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




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

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
they are ready
to be Forgotten
if not
really already
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
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
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
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


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
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