Samurai Amidst Cherry Blossoms 2 [Lantern of Below]

by Alastre Zidler


Encircled by virtuous ladies,
A beautiful song-devil.
Lovers tell that the river
Is the mirror of his vanity.

Festival lanterns bathing water,
A moon-face in sun-hues.
He could be a poet,
Oh, oh,
He could play the biwa*!

From beneath
A poison ghost.
To gaze into his eyes is to
Fall into a deep well
In winter.

Petals scatter,
The demon-flower
Wilting in a
Memorial pyre.
Acrid prayers in
Tongue and tears.
In a sunless valley,
Half an echo.

The wing unfurls.
Red snow-ripples
In a calm pond.
The steel portrait
Of a swan
Painted with a brush
Of bone and fountain.
The scent of jasmine.

Shadow of a dead phoenix
Welting the inverted sky.
Singed black water,
Bereft of lantern light.


Author's Note: *The biwa is a traditional Japanese instrument similar to the mandolin.

Posted on 05/27/2003
Copyright © 2020 Alastre Zidler

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Agnes Eva on 05/27/03 at 07:32 PM

enjoyed your delicate crafting of imagery here

Posted by Graeme Fielden on 05/28/03 at 04:13 PM

delicate & subtle imagery painted to the page...Another nice one Al!...looking forward to more!

Posted by JD Clay on 05/29/03 at 08:48 PM

This is a well-crafted piece, Alastre. Interesting message and concise free verse form. Peace...

Posted by Kimberly Bare on 01/08/04 at 06:24 PM

words escape me as i am still caught up in the scene playing before my eyes...i love the surreal feel of this...Great Writing!

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