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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017
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Keitha Keyes
Sydney, North South Wales, Australia


Afternoon in Kyoto

My Japanese host ushers me into a black taxi, and I sink into the thick upholstery with lace antimacassars. The driver's gloved hands guide us through the winding streets.

Narrow houses and shops built of dark wood contrast with the bright orange shrines in the hilltops. Black and brown banners hang in the shop doorways. There is no English signage anywhere.

at shrines
paper wishes are left
for prayers . . .
I can’t read the words
but I feel their sorrow

While the driver waits for us, we walk unhurriedly. My host points out some houses with their own separate rooms for holding tea ceremonies. I will myself to remember every detail of the streetscape. And marvel at the tranquillity.

We enter a restaurant with a window display of dolls dressed in kimonos. Tatami mats are on the floor. The owner greets us with a bow and takes us to a low table. Then she sits cross-legged on a raised platform until we decide what to have.

green tea
not so bitter now . . .
sipping it
with a sweet cake
I learn to forget you

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