Faculty

Poetry: A Postcard from Kyoto at Rush Hour

June 02, 2016 by John Freed, Ph.D.

zenGarden
A Postcard from Kyoto at Rush Hour

A perverse quiet even at rush hour
even from battalions of uniformed teens
afraid of awakening warlord emperors

At the Pink Bunny Cafe a pastel blue
elephant stylized into a ball
wrapped around a raspberry bear

Old women squashed
into the shape of a Z
crossing the streets glazed with rain

One thousand and one gold lacquered
radiantly female images of Kannon
manifested upright for 733 years

Another wooden temple so vast
that only rope braided from women’s hair
could have dragged its enormous beams

A glass geometrical monolith
vaster than Blade Runner’s
imagined future contains

The panther train eager to carry me
back to Osaka leaving maybe
a moved pebble at Rengeo-in Zen garden.

Taken from Dr. John Freed’s newly released chapbook – “Our Ancestors Were Chinese Cranes” – published by Phoenix and Son Press.

About the author

John Freed

John Freed at Timberline Lodge. Photo by Stacy Alexander

Dr. John Freed is a professor of humanities and liberal studies in the School of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Dramatists Guild.

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Brandman Voices is open to faculty, staff and students to submit opinion and other original writing for publication on the Brandman News website. Send submissions to news@brandman.edu

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