"Greening in Sayama" by Ivy C. Machida

All around me
Green abounds -

Beyond the window
Just above your shoulder
I see the swaying leaves -
You said they'd turn a darker green
Before the fall
Which didn't happen elsewhere
When you were abroad.
I said they'd be evergreens
You nodded as if to say
That's how you'd like them all to be.

In the green and park domain
You held the reins assuredly.
Uncertainty lurked in your eyes
I wondered why -
How devoted were you indeed
To till the greenery for one and all -
Or was this a pass-through
On a journey to paths and pursuits
And greening beyond our grasp
At day's end when work is done.

I hadn't known
But it came to light
When I beheld the greenery
Beyond the open window
How you heartily relished
Their freshness, ever-joyful
Still youthful greenery
Overwhelming you, awaiting you -
So unlike those immersed in approaching fall
Soon to assume a darkening glow
Weathering beyond the joyous green.

Green lays hold on you undoubtedly
And you delight in the greening glory
That awaits at each day's end
No matter it'd be darkening
But green alone lights up your eyes.
Like earth's creation, God's hand
Creates a paradisiac green -
And we behold the magnanimous glory
And the greening power within us -
Go, if you must -
Delight in your greening journey
In the park, where she awaits

Green reigns supreme, consummate -
As God's creation, I too, as the days darken,
Will tread amidst the scenery all around
And rejoice in finding common ground
Before the approaching shadows fall.

"Wildflower" by Ivy C. Machida

Out of the blue
You sprang forth
What am I to make of you -

In my garden
Where sculptured shrubs
And roses bloom in measured rows
With hues and tints
And names to match -

And violets poised and gay
With daisies coy and pure
Align in close embrace -
And all is game and fair in love and play
In my tilled and cultivated space.

A bolt of lightning dazzled the skies
Sprinkling its sparkling rays
In fields and dales -
A swirling cloud and seedy haze
Swept by and rained upon my garden -

That's how you happened by
Oh, wildflower -

You hold court, striving to reign,
Ravishing the polished lawn
Bracing to sprout a dizzy display
Of daisy-like beads and buds
To woo and baffle the eyes and steer the mind.

I stooped to gaze at one
As if to chide its frivolity
Or swipe it off with a flick of hand -
And behold - it spilled and sprayed its scent
And thrust itself on me as if to claim validity

Awestruck, I recoiled my outstretched hand
And gently cupped the wooing weed
Ready to grant a lease of recompense
For a shaky transient stay
And learn by circumstance, come what may.

That's how you happened by
Oh, wildflower -

Like the wind you came
So late in life -
Like cleansing rain you will go -
And I abide this tranquil time alone
To reap my garden anew.

"Folly" by Joe Zanghi

So what was your biggest folly?
Mine? I’m too embarrassed to ever tell…
I just hope they don’t show the video.
And by the way, was it a folly to come to Tokyo—so many years ago?
And if we hadn’t, where would each of us be now?
We can wonder, but we’ll never know…

Was it a folly to have let—
To have let—the one—the one that got away? To let them go?
I don’t like to look back much—all it does is make me sigh.
All it does is make me cry.

When was your last sexual indiscretion?
It doesn’t matter, just as long—just as long as you don’t get caught.
And if you DO get caught, DENY, DENY, DENY!
(Even if you caught in bed… with a penguin underneath)
Keep insisting: “You know, in this world, everyone has a double.
So you see, it wasn’t me.”

Some secrets you just have live—and die—with.
Secrets hang out in the shadows
They hang out with you like troublesome friends, herpes or worse…
These secrets are contrary to Milarepa’s words:
“My religion is to live and die without regrets.”
Nice try, Milarepa, you ancient Tibetan mystic. (1052–1135 C.E.)

So what rash thing have you done recently?
Did you bet on the wrong horse?
Did you double your bet when you should have folded your cards?
Did you say something when you should have kept your mouth shut?
The question is: how long will you have to pay for your folly?
Will it be just 24 hours, and not costing you a dime?
Or will you have to pay for it… for a lifetime?

So you made a mistake—a blunder, a bungle, a flub, a goof, a howler
Caused by a lapse in judgment
Caused by the gray matter between the ears—a mind fart
They say: to err is to be human, okay, so now what?

Look at the big picture, just look around
Insanity abounds!
The lunacy the religion
The madness of war
The absurdity—the inanity—the senselessness of it all.
We are told to believe,
But most of it is just fake.

I suppose my point is (and back the Milarepa’s words):
“My religion is to live and die without regrets.”
Maybe Milarepa’s religion ain’t all crap:
Living life not having to ask yourself,
“What the fuck have I done now?”

And later, when it’s time to look back,
Not having to ask yourself,
“Why the fuck did I ever do that?”

Indeed, it would be ideal
To live each day
and die….