THE SOUNDLESS TEMPLE BELL
It is late as Joshu's feet find the steps of the shrine.
The Honeysuckle cuttings bring a smile to the faces of the priests.
Ohayo gozaimasu. Gomen nasai...
They sit, swatting flies with ancient whisks
in the shadow of the great bell.
His face a calm mask, Joshu's coins tumble
into the Kanji-covered box next to them.
A single ray of sun catches his face
and glances sidelong off the mirrors of his eyes.
Kono aida wa arigato gozaimashita. Korewa goteinei ni osoreirimasu.
Together they savor the aroma
of the sweet flowers.
The languid scent mixes with the sweat
of their bodies and settles heavily in the
bronze cracks of the massive bell.
The late afternoon is heavy and humid.
Yuutsu ni narimashita. Hara ga tachimasu. Honto ni fuyukaidesu.
Hours pass, as overhead, like silken shrouds
the clouds rise, towering colossal unearthly temples,
the smell of rain hanging in the evening air.
The older priest rises, claps his hands,
bows deeply and departs, followed in silence
by the younger attendant.
Joshu is alone as the raindrops start to fall.
A, Joshusan'. Ame ga furiso desu. Kaze ga fukimasu.