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Sakana

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Sakana


The delicate spray of flowering cherries
underplanted with miniture umbrellas
of red Japanese maples no more
than two feet high, almost bonsai,
shimmers in the moonlight mirror
of an elegant Egyptian water garden.
A pink perfumed path of petals
pervaded by starlight drops
purposefully like a lady's handkerchief
daintily down the rocks amid
the mellifluous timbre of a waterfall
and tumbles with musical umbels
into the pool.  On the hill overhanging
it sits a verdigris replica of a pagoda
awaiting ichthyic acolytes.

In the pool plants bathe decadently
in thrall to the allure of the languid liquid
as intoxicating as hot sake.
Pea green palmate papyrus leaves
on leggy stalks echo the umbrellas
of the maples.  Castalia Nymphaea's
showy blossoms borne on long,
tapering scapes at the surface
of the water -
              yellow
                    pink
                        cream and
                                 lavendar

wear floating necklaces of orbicular

           lily pads.

Through a curtain of subtle bubbles
within the water's Circean caress
swims a trio of ornamental, brodcaded
Nishikigoy butterfly geisha fish -
violet Ianthe
     Nepenthe in turquoise blue
             ethereal Ariadne adorned
in lime and spodumene green hues.

Night's light reflected from
the jeen leen metallic sheen
of their silken satin scale kimono
they weave glowing
s     l     o     w     l     y
       lithing lowly
          gliding       (hiding)

in and out of plants' leaves
diaphanous sleeves flowing
as they undulate in submarine breezes
posing, from the bulbous beauty
of their startled, staring eyes
to the chiche chiffon tips
of chinoiserie tails fluttering by.

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Preternaturally pouty lips close and open
perpetually in amoral, hedonistic kisses,
as they break the water's surface, spring up the falls
and swim the roji dewy path of moonlight mist
to the verdigris pagoda/teahouse
where they await their host, a garden gnome,
and admire caligraphy and rabbits painted
on a hanging scroll in the konoma alcove,
ponder pink peony chabana tea flowers
in a tall, slim vase of green bamboo,
and since previously, ritually
purified by the pool
assemble in the austere atmosphere
for a chaji kaiseki tea ceremony
surrounded by owl and nightingale sounds
and the simplicity of the waterfall's symphony
to behold the beauty of shallow,
hand-made chawan tea bowls
from which emantes, simmering,
usucha and koicha teas' aromas.

The light meal, kaiseki, consists of a delicious dish
of luscious crustaceans and insects garnished with
artfully arranged plant matter in lustrous,
lacquered boxes, shidashi bento.
Graceful, ritual movements prevent soiling
voluminous sleeves of their kimono.

After post prandial, ostentatious bows
they swimm, glimmering,
down the roji dewy path
along the cascading waterfall
and breathless,
                   plop

in the warm and welcoming bath
of the Egyptian water garden pool
with none the wiser
but
    you
        and
             I
a wink
       a kiss
              then Sayonara

a Nishikigoy
             good-bye.

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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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