Category Archives: literature

Poetry「Family Portrait」(2022)

One day, when my father skipped work and went to play pachinko, my mother was working at home. She was sewing bags with a sewing machine. Sewing bags for Sesame Street. That day, Dad’s boss at work called the house.

When the boss asked, “Do you have a husband at home?” Mom answered, “No.” Mom thought that was strange and went to a nearby pachinko parlor to look for him.

Dad was playing pachinko there.

Mom found him and sat down next to him. She picked up a pachinko ball from his pachinko stand and began to play with it.

“Stop it, please stop it,” I think he thought.

Dad kept his mouth shut.

The quietness that comes to a busy pachinko parlor.

Afterward, he got angry with Mom, “Why did you tell my boss at work about this?”

“I don’t know,” she said.

I think she is right.

July. I’m sitting in my father’s study, listening to the sound of heavy rain, reminiscing about the events of those days, more than twenty-five years ago.

I’m sure the Sesame Street bag will remind me of those days. Of those days. And I will realize that my parents have helped me grow up to be a somewhat decent adult.

I often think about this bag. I am often reminded of or encouraged by it.

Maybe I should put that bag on the wall of my room.

If I can find the bag from those days.

Photo from 「Self Portrait」 (taken on December 27, 1996)

Reference

Japanese https://note.com/yasuharunagura/n/n2db051ffd151

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Poetry「Gujo Onsen」(2022)

A day when it stopped raining quietly
I stand up in the sauna 
Sit down, arms crossed
White smoke billows up  

Putting aside a wet hand towel 
I look around with a wandering glance 
And pulls his head back into the bathtub
The red face though he doesn’t drink 
  
Small, round, beautiful 
I look at the beautiful bubbles 
I vaguely remember 
The open-air bath with shimmering willows  

A boy bathes without a word
Soaking in the bath with his father
His son’s hair glistened wetly
And a smile on his face

Photo from 『Gujo June 27, 2018』

Haiku Competition in New York, USA (2022)

“Fujimara Yasumasa Plays the Flute in Moonlight” by Yoshitoshi

Theme: Early Summer, 2022

Entries

① When the wind chime rang

  On the porch, he was hanging

  A new bamboo blind

② Reeds, thatch, and bulrush

  And rusty water fills them

  Certain places were bright

③ In the paddy fields

  Weaving in and out between them

  The two of us walked

p.s. These works were created on July 14, 2022.

Reference

Japanese https://note.com/yasuharunagura/n/n263153e9cf51

Source of Photo

THE SOCIETY OF CLASSICAL POETS

“Youth (Samuel Ullman)”

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Photography in Hida-Takayama, Japan (April 2020)

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a body of twenty.  Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty.