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shamamama May 12
-----------I weave my grand                     mother's spirit to life--------
             when I paint with my             words what she dreamed
             in her life.  My grandmother's kimono sat in the dark never
            worn; so needs a     dusting--I lift it up      into this light to be
           seen, to be heard,      to be felt, fabric of          loving  heart
          dreams to be.  It's     not perfectly shaped   or tattered or torn,
         rather fermented       beyond her time  to      take form.  My
       Grandma loved  to        eat her white rice          she ate thirty
      seven million grains      of rice by the time         she reached her
      104-- Born on a             sugarcane plant'tion         on the coast of
     Oahu, a child in               the tropics then a       teen in Japan. Her
    family returned to          their roots to learn,    & grow, reenter the
   cultural force. She                discovered her              new talent as
                                  ­              K  I   M   O  N  O          
                                               ­     A R T I S T
                                       Kikuyo  Yamamoto became
                                     liberated as an artist and then
                                     her life changed as her family
                                    demanded she leave her position
                                   and marry away to a Japanese man
                                    who lives in California (my Grand
                                    father).  The matchmaker said it
                                     would work really well....She
                                   endured life as an American farm
                                     wife, then life in Japanese intern-
                                    ment camps. Five  children, nine
                                    grandchildren...Dear Grandmother
                                     I know you had lots to surrender-
                                           I honor your life as mother,
                                           grandmother, and artist --I
                                          wove this poem in the form
                                       of  a kimono for you  May your
                                         spirit rest in peace. I love you.
This poem is woven with rememberence on the eve of mother's day, to honor and love the enduring nature of my grandmother. Long ago she shared with me, her possibility of a career in sewing kimonos when she was a 20 year old in Japan, and how it was not a choice within her family. Marriage was the way. She was born in 1909, and lived till 104---she loved her bowls of rice; I have heard each grain of rice is a god, so may she be empowered 7 million times over with the god of rice in her spirit belly.
Liam C Calhoun Sep 2015
I unraveled her kimono
As if it were a gift,
When hours earlier,
She’d bandaged my arm.

I traced her clavicle
With the only finger left,
And seconds later, would
Intimately grasp the music.

So I whimper within want,
And blame it on the pain,
Come an instant,
She’d pegged me a “liar.”

Then we’d love, we’d wed,
A naked knowing only moonlight,
And should the hours understand
“Later,” we’d know only dark.

So the sunrise ensued,
I folded her kimono, silk and
As if it were a letter, one
Parting gratitude and prior wander.

But the crimson and
‘Ever’d arrive later,  and later’d
Arrived atop a melancholy’s mount,
Eternal and seasoned  “regret,”

She’d passed, we’d passed,
And the night’s passed to know
Only “broken,” broken, the bow,
And how all and always unravels.
I spent some time in Kyoto. I will never forget Kyoto. But oh, did I try come two days in Tokyo and the skies above and east Narita.
NF Aug 2015
She ran to a land of summer and pink kimonos,
Where nurse sharks circled her ankles
And familiar familial flaws faded to vague memories of leather scented hugs.
She learned to walk dusty streets in bare feet, so she could hold the world in her toes,
Leaving crumpled dollars in the hands of beggars
Who saw her light skin as gold.
The cherry trees bathed her in petals soft enough to erase the scars that faded in the sun,
She learnt to run with her hair down and to eat kneeling at a table,
Rearranged her mind with the art of Feng Shui in an attempt to find a way to live away from the dictatorship of the past,
Collecting porous pebbles and lighting candles encircled in jade,
As old leather scents fade to incense and jasmine.
She strings lost stone on a necklace of wood and measures her life in the breaths to come instead of those she has taken.
Her heartbeat beats irregularly but no longer from fear and now adrenaline is synonymous with exhilaration.
And she holds sand in her palms,
No longer scrabbling to catch it as it falls through her fingers,
She now knows that life occurs between her hand and the ground.
She broke the hourglass because she no longer counts the hours
Or clings to the time that is gone.
She lives eternal and bright,
Clothed in sunlight
And a pink kimono.
Alessander Mar 2015
Something about her
the way she sips her beer
as if it’s tea, and she’s in a kimono
peering out into a storm
as the wind rattles the ***
and snakes through the silk
she undulates, sliding her finger
over the rim, then sips

I know the real storm
broods inside her frail frame
but she says little. mostly listens
and it drives me utterly insane
she should scream or bang on walls
she should throw ashtrays into tvs
but instead, she simply nods
her glazed eyes as still as pearls

She’s like a cherry blossom descending
towards the  muddy trail below
she will be trampled by hooves
of  merchants and thieves
and I am the charcoal cloud, aching
as I feel her falling farther from me…

— The End —