Poem by Steve Schwarzer
The Samurai's Clothes
A look at ancient tradition
Traditions for its own sake
Something like a stone garden
Thousands of small stones raked in little rows
To what end
Just to start and rake again
For traditions sake
Move every leaf
To its proper form
A measured step
A slow turn
Like a drip of water
Falling down
Cool thoughts of a land gone bye
A puff of breeze wets the eye
The ruffle of starched hakama
The geta makes a slow march
Echo each step in the court yard
The new old one slowly approaches
The tatami all in rows
The quick sound of iron on wood
The wind on the blade makes a sound understood
The cut so quick and pure of form
Like a fan of steel attached to an arm
The tatami parts like a smile
As it slowly falls to the tile
The blade recoils like a snake
All sinew and muscle back in place
The cut was good
Perfect in form
The sword has become part of his arm
A slow smile comes to his face
Something that comes from honoring this place
Raking the rocks and a slow pace
Tending the plants
Feeding the fish

Gaigen wearing a samurai's clothes
Copyright:Steve Schwarzer 2008