by Thomas Andrews


Gion at dusk

dimlight from behind wooden slatted doors and windows
barely intrudes onto the shadowed street

Shijo bridge nearby

the templed hills move closer

suddenly a maiko hastens past almost noiselessly
carrying provisions to her mistress' tryst

her elaborate kimono and swift movement

her lacquered geta scraping the street

a vision of multicoloured fabrics whiteface flawless hair
swirling as the hyoshigi claps in sharp rhythm unseen

red lanterns ignite

in the interval of her passing
i become the anachronism

rows of noren snap

Gion, Kyoto

Thomas Andrews is an ex-Tokyo resident and poet who now lives in Vancouver. Gion was first read at the Tokyo Rose performence poetry event in 1998.
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