Blue eyes, standing in the middle of the torii gates, watch the falling leaves outside the shrine. “Shall we pray?”
Written November 6, 2018
Parameters: Tawaramachi’s style, write in Japanese without a dictionary
Commentary: This poem is my first attempt at writing a poem in Japanese. It is meant to commemorate the time I spent with a friend while visiting the shrine for Benzaiten in Inokashira Park, Kichijoji. My friend did not know proper shrine etiquette and stood on the path of the gods beneath the torii gates. The image of him watching the falling leaves is meant to convey a sense of loss as the leaves turn color. “Shall we pray?” is meant to convey a sense of helplessness as our time together was running out. Additionally, Benzaiten, a jealous goddess, is famous for tearing people apart; a prayer is thus a futile attempt at salvaging the relationship. The speaker of the quote is intended to be ambiguous.