Yama

Ascents and descents scatter the skyline

Chronicled timelines, inked highs and lows

Morning mist collected in clear jars, held up to the afternoon sun

Sunlight warms yesterday’s moments, mixing past and present

My father’s voice drifts in and out, never alone

Peaks and valley traversed

He walks by my side

Hanabi

The sky’s long arm sweeps the clouds aside

Allowing a blank canvas to emerge

Streaked tails reach out

Stretched as far as possible before the burst

Leaving imprints for all to view

Staggered brilliance illuminates the sky

A visual orchestra, a salvo of feelings released

The crescendo turns night to day

A moment of awe follows

As dandelioned sparks float slowly down

Silently expiring into the night

Itadakimasu

Simmering pork broth over a low flame

Patiently waiting for the right time to emerge

An old man behind a counter fans the flames

Rekindled coals sizzle as skewered juices drop and kiss the glow

Glasses clink, followed closely by the sound of a smooth pour

Filling the room with a hungering anticipation of what is next to come

Laughter, conversation and chatter dance in unison

Ingredients meant to intermingle, an umami of a different sort

The first sip, the first bite, the first taste

The eyes and mind already feasting, the palate waiting patiently for its turn

Friends and family gathering together

Savor and gratitude just moments away

Gomenasai

The drift that immediately follows

Invisible, yet felt

The crevice fills with a lingering palpable silence

That a wave of a hand cannot brush away

The air turns a different shade

And for a split second

Everything stops

Waiting for your reply

Ja Mata

The shape of a circle

Best describes you and me

A connection without an end

Our followed paths

Always reconnecting, eventually

Our separate ways, we go

Time lapses, without concern

Pathways converge in time

So parting ways

Is never a sad goodbye

Farewells always accompanied with a smile

Intuitively we both understand

Circles, our friendship

Until then

Ja mata

Sakura

Floating somersaults take their time

Allowing a quick glance to turn into a long gaze

Simplicity’s breath painted in mid air

Captured in a photograph that lays to rest in my memory

Tucked away, later for safekeeping

Waiting for the right moment to resurface when needed most

To remind me of this feeling of beauty

Balancing the scales in hope’s favor, just enough

To allow me to endure and continue moving forward

Daijobu

It’s not what is said

Nor what is unsaid, either

My gaze offers a glimmer beneath the surface, but it’s not a tell

My walk, long strides that have traveled long roads

Strength from uphill climbs, sometimes without end

Sturdied downhill descents tested unmeasured muscles

Yet I still find one continues in front of the other, I go

A spotlight shines on the realization that I am ok

The warmth of the sun’s rays hugs my shoulders and draws me in, closer

Without words, tells me I will be fine

And I let out a sigh of relief

Daijobu