Poem in which I dream of Jiro

Perfectly trained, 8 Kohaku koi swim with perfect
synchronicity in front of the bus
oooooo—crimson, bright orange, gold, piano-cream,
oooooosand, grey, vermillion and Marseilles black—
the eighth turns a flat-gold eye towards me
he’s the one driving this bus-show forwards
in the printed shower of light
of hasty late pm raindrops.

This procession o unhappy procession
pushes me onto the pavement
like an old woman!

The barrage of koi swerve in colloidal rain;
more difficult than the task of rain
like clothes well-folded (furoshiki)
like a way of being followed consistently
like flooded catacombs eating a city
like judicial statuaries these fast-labouring fins!

Unwanted, unwanted all of them,
sparkling as orange flutes
playing nostalgic songs of Time
in wreaths of firework-fish-fire.

I pick a thread off my pen-black wool sweater
like the road itself I’m too inconsistent
for their sparkling hard ways…

Yet with the iron will of Poisedon
these water-lit scales brush me
with their goodwill prayers!

I must go home to make something
I must say my metta bhavanas
I must disintegrate my work
and the Sun so sure to show tomorrow
uncurls itself like a print in an attic
uncurls rays certain as woodblocks…

Lucy Mercer

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