My childhood friend, Conal, is highly trained in many fields, among them languages. He is trained in both art and science. He loves Basho, a Japanese Haiku poet, among the most famous. He wrote this morning:
"Here is the preface as translated by Dorothy Britton (and the three lines of verse translated by me, since I didn't care for her attempt):
"At Komatsu, we visited Tada Shrine. There we saw the helmet of the warrior Sanemori [1111-1183] and a piece of his brocade armor robe. They are said to have been given him by Lord Yoshitomo of Minamoto, when Sanemori served with the Genji clan. It was no ordinary helmet. From its peak to the turned-back ear flanges, it was embellished all over with chrysanthemum arabesques in gold. The crest was a dragon's head, and the helmet had flat, gilded 'horns' that were proud and graceful. When Sanemori was killed in battle, Kiso Yoshinaka sent Jiroo of Higuchi to offer these relics to the shrine. All this is vividly recorded in the shrine's chronicles.
A cruel fate For the great warrior's helmet: Home to a grasshopper"
I want to write one now from the grasshopper's perspective.
Maybe like this:
Grasshopper At Peace (on an abandoned but ornate warrior's helmet)
I have found myself (hop) clinging to a slippery slope, gilded and warm in old summer sun, in the heat of late (hop) afternoon, nothing nearby to eat, still, at peace.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.