Wednesday, February 6, 2008


It’s almost midnight—tomorrow’s Christmas. As I turn the pages of the Tosa Diary I smell the sea and feel my cold soles’ impress on the shingle; I hear those ancient pines whose roots are ‘splashed by waves’. The rowers pull hard as a woman intones verses for the dead amid the long, elegant robes…I peek in on my sleeping daughter, and then shut the door.

Like the long sloping lines
in Hiroshige’s woodcuts, the rain glistens
under streetlights—
what strange coasts
our bows have touched.

by Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia

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