The Minnesota Grizzly Bear

Roaring about life since 2009

Asa-ku

I admit, I’m an amateur poetry-lover and few do it better than the Japanese.  While I was reserching Shinto on SacredTexts.com, I came across this book a few months ago and actually printed the whole thing out and guerrilla-bound it.  Which is basically a 3-hole punch and some yarn, haha.  Take a look, there’s some artful use of language even in those translations.

I took to reading a few pages every night before bed, and was struck by how much could be contained in so little space.  Kind of a linguistic minimalism, ala Joy Division or John Cage in music.  Even though Germanic languages are a  bad fit for syllable-based poetry, I tried my hand at writing some shortrune-poems in the Haiku style, trying to use a rune as the subject instead of a season, as is the usual Japanese custom.  Here are a few of my attempts at “Asaku” in the 5-7-5 syllable structure.  Most of them were written on tour last June 2009, while we were driving through the Arizona desert at night.

When our gods return

need-fires leap high and bright

Forge our loyalty

 

Sun sinks down and dies

mistletoe hangs its shamed head

a loss so divine

 

rough rock is worn smooth

our lives ebbing and flowing

in waters of wyrd

 

Poets burning blaze

fed by honey from above

’round the fire, enthralled

 

Golden mead drips down

feed our eternal hunger

until sunset, live

 

Angry jotuns blood

washes away all Order

food for growing grass

 

Alone on a hill

one-eye hangs through the cold night

captures blood-stained runes

 

Coldest flakes drift down

roads become death and danger

Hail grows and gives life

 

Have it good,

-Mike

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December 21, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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