More noble than us.
More fair, and secure, too.
The Maasai warrior, from the Mara, the Maasai Mara.
Living and walking, hunting and herding in Kenya and Tanzania.
A tribe of bravery, honor, prowess, with deep convictions based around moral and ethical codes.
Such as Olpul, forest cleansing, even spa, where tribe members spend days, and nights; in the forest, members rather than member because the social aspect is also important.
A gathering and exploration in the forest where special soups with different herbs are made, and storytelling sessions are held.
The healing is spiritual, physical, psychological, psychic, and beautiful.
even the birds
understand the olpul
the forest gives
in front of me
kilimanjaro, ah kilimanjaro
either one meter or thousands
but always in front of me
in the blue of the morning
I swim to the top of mount fuji
and bathe in her flanks
Remember, Yasuko, when you told me about life? When you frothed the bright green tea with a brush, and let it settle, then handed me the small bowl with two hands, bowing.
"You must feel the warmth of the cup, inhale the aroma, and taste," you'd said. "If you do not focus on these tbings and get distracted, then by the time you look down for the tea it will be gone."
She'd sat back up, facing me: "Life is like that," she'd added. "If you do not live now when will you?"
She had giggled too, when I kissed her fingertips after the tea. "I learnt a new word today," she said. "You are a rogue. I learnt the word in the dissinary."
Her accent was soft, her voice so quiet the paper walls did not tremble. Her kimono slid easily and I kissed her bare shoulder.
the moment is savoured
Who were you? Whom did you love, and when did you pose under the volcano, under the calming presence of Mt Fuji?
Is the twinkle there, in your eye, of a woman loved, and in love? It is, isn't it? Oh I hope you are, were.
You are beautiful. And when I look at Mt Fuji I think of you sometimes, wonder how you made your tea, how it tasted, how you held your chopsticks, and how you smiled, too. I hope you did. More than anything, I hope you did.
her eyes fluttered in the breeze
her taste was dark with the longing
of the sweetness of sour cherries
When I was there it was destroyed. A beautiful bridge, and symbol, handcrafted in style, by those wise enough to see it's necessity, and it's fitting graceful arch, set with a mountain backdrop, between the Croat and Muslim quarters of Mostar.
The Croats had destroyed the Muslim side, as well as the bridge, in a mindless frenzy. Croats and Muslims were supposed to be allies, but things happen in war.
They have rebuilt the bridge since those awful days of civil war, and restored the graceful curve, and dignity that the bridge seemed to hold. Nowadays the local youth dive from high atop the middle of the arch into the river below, in brave defiance.
I will always remember when the bridge was not there, though, when the modern world thought it savagely useful to destroy medieval beauty.
traveller's road spanning rivers
and uniting mountains
shattered in senseless explosions
the past destroyed by the future
on the branch of a pine tree
the frozen sun
The walk through the snowed-in forest takes a mere hour, as does the walk home again after work. I should always like it to take longer, and can then imagine myself on some inspiring adventure, traversing the great north.
High up on the mountains, sound is no longer secondhand. Choices are simpler than on a main street: up or down. And yet the choices are more thrilling than choosing the latest fashionable shirt off one of the multitude of hangers in one of the multitude of shops lining the street; up bad, too late in the day to go on and you will freeze to death, down good as you'll stay alive and be drinking a tea in your tent by nightfall.
makes its own melody
up the mountain
over the rocks and snow
through the branches of trees
I watch the ripples
as they move across the pond
slowly I realise
the ripples disturbing the pond
came originally from me
full of dreams and contemplation
rests for winter
bare of laughter and screams
of children to come
Friends are rare - much more rare than lovers, who come and go. But that is how it should be: rarety is no impediment.
If I pause to think of where I met true friends, I realise they live in farflung places. Well, far from where I am now.
Baku, in Azerbaijan is captivating for its warm-hearted people, and so is Khartoum, Sudan's capital, and Ammam, in Jordan.
Sometimes the backdrop provides the best friendship, and melting pots like Bahrain or Saudi Arabia are where I met some of my closest.
Butterflies and bees
touch nectar at each flower
-she sits, under the cherry tree
catching the fluttering blossoms