Venus to Mars Stopover - At Shinsho-ji-Temple

Poets post their works-in-progress here for crit and commentary. We want poets who are serious about getting their work published.
Post Reply
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Venus to Mars Stopover - At Shinsho-ji-Temple

#1 Post by FranktheFrank » 11 Sep 2019, 13:54

“Rain falls on the city and runs down the gutters
to empty into the sea without soaking the ground”

― Haruki Murakami

Narita Spaceport Arrivals shines - miles of glass, moulded
synthetic materials - vast areas of moving walkways,
elevators, stairways, toilets, and concourses. Four hundred
Space-Airbus passengers disembark eager to stretch thrombosed
legs and to find a loo.

The indigenes know just a little English, a fellow 'outside-person'
the journey is sixty miles, but his hotel booking says it’s just a few
blocks away. His money is returned without a word.

A 5-star hotel room - a box with bathroom. A television and deep
bed with a swan-feather duvet, he can just squeeze between bed
and wall.

He enters a wooden structure with: ‘Café’ emblazoned in faded gold
over the entrance. A waitress approaches in a red cardigan, cooking
smells cling to her like a sea fog. She moves in close, he orders a fizzy
“Tis 'spensive here; machine outside berrer.” [/]
He notes the stub-legged tables for customers,
this is for locals only.

He walks through th village of small houses with tiled roofs,
windows set in rows of neat squares, he follows the winding
path through the narrow streets. The residents move to the front, greet
pilgrims with bows, smile their good-will’s from behind a cultural hedge.

Houses overflow
red glazed roofs packed tight - sparkle
in the midday sun.

A school of teenage girls throng the plaza and display leas of bent
chubby legs, splayed out from too-short check-patterned skirts.
Squeals of delight at comic book characters, Godzilla
and doe eyed beauties.

Maidens dream prepare
Husbands and children

The temple looms, towers over the sky, colossal black timbers impressing
the gods with scale and splendour. The engineer in him wonders how
did they erect such a structure. Manicured gardens weave peace
and harmony, waves roll on a shallow seashore tended by invisible
monks. Incense blocks smoulder in pedestals, waft evocative odours
that transcend time. The sky looms large he could so easily fall into it.

Manicured gardens
hibiscus hedges - green waves
breaking on the shore

The omelette at the hotel is bland, pale it needs something.
An Anglo-Chinese woman smiles at him at breakfast
as if he's a long lost relative, he is tempted
to wave in return, but he’s afraid it might lead
to an incongruous conversation.

The lady in the hotel shop wears a kimono, she wraps his gilded
plate lovingly, taking infinite care; he thinks of Em packing
corned beef sandwiches for his box. Counter girls bow
at his gaijin hello's.

A busboy bows at the airport transit, completely ignored
by the departing guests. At the departures he chats
to a sarariman and hands him his card which he reads
carefully, “Ahh, Managing Director San.”
Mid-flight an attendant brings him a hand-written
company card from Sales Director San.

The officer at passport-control ravishes him with her bright
eyes and enigmatic smile. Tenderness. He pauses,
was this the mystery of this enchanted place.
He wants to stay
to ask of her so much more.

An enigmatic
smile encapsulates his heart
with poised tenderness

Posts: 333
Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 23:23

Re: Haibun of Venus to Mars Stopover and View of Shinsho-ji-Temple

#2 Post by capricorn » 12 Sep 2019, 02:49

It is a long time since I read a haibun, I have forgotten the 'rules'. There is a lot to take in on first read but I have enjoyed the read and will be reading again. Just a couple of minor points -

Is leas a typo in 'leas of chubby legs'
and I feel the ending might read better as

He wants so much to stay and ask much more of her - but perhaps 2 much's are too close together.


Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Venus to Mars Stopover - View of Shinsho-ji-Temple

#3 Post by FranktheFrank » 04 Oct 2019, 00:37

Thanks Eira,
leas is correct spelling.

Post Reply

Return to “Writer's Block - Where The Poets Hang”