A Hundred Gourds 2:4 September 2013
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page 6  

The Hat of the Painter

Mount Fuji –
through the mist up there
the hat of the painter

thin veils of frost
all round a tin-roof hut

in a cheval mirror
the full moon
speckled with silver

baby’s amber necklace
snug against her throat

chased away
by the cameras
in front of startled shoppers

koi rise from shadow
to gulp at heated air

the sound of the fan
it clicks this way, then that –
our legs entwined

drunk dialling the number
no longer in service

on Hyde Park Corner
the soothsayer tells us
a forgotten tale

so late the hour
this tangle of twisting streets

flurries of plum petals
blurring the soldiers
on their way home

white muslin curtains
set loose a butterfly

gurgling water
to and fro, a peasant
in his paddy field

the women grab their gowns
and head across the Ditch

Banksy’s graffito
makes a mockery of
the whole affair

converging on the lunch truck
a whiff of shawarma beef

cold moon
sapping my milk’s flow
the infant’s breath with mine

heirloom secrets
in finely stitched quilts

the pianist’s fingers
short and fat

wind in a bottle
hooked to a long, slow riff

the best malt
there ever was
demolished at the wake

a merry little jig
the inbox empty

cherry blossom!
from dawn to dusk blooming
from dawn to dusk withering

our seeds kept safe
in calico pockets

A Tankako renku composed at Issa’s Snail
between April 5 and May 14, 2013.

Verse Allocations:

Barbara A. Taylor, Australia – 5, 11, 14, 18, 21
Claire Gardien, England – 1, 9, 13, 16, 23
Mary White, Ireland – 3, 8, 12, 20, 24
Sandra Simpson, New Zealand – 4, 7, 17, 19, 22
William Sorlien, (sabaki), United States – 2, 6, 10, 15

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