From a Distant Shore
by Wendy Howe
I (The Prophecy) White snow, Shinto bells prompt a chill to fall as they warn and weep. Stones will shift and waters will heap waves of salt, wide sorrow while strangers mourn, miles off safe in their hills, tonight tomorrow and beyond tomorrow. II (Coming of The Yürei) California, your coastal gardens own rock and cypress but spare acreage for the green bamboo. Sprays of sunlight diverge through the trees while close behind, a woman glides concealing her form in a long shroud of hair. Not mortal but mere shadow she has been cast by The Archipelago Mother who once chose to corset her soul in stone and timber rather than bone and sinew as she fell from the sky shattering into small islands, the wind at hand to give her breath and weave fate on a loom of climatic strings. Hot, cold, dry, wet wings, seed and scent have all caused diverse blends, decades never the same. And now California your coastal gardens house a dire figment of these — she is prayer she is need she is grief as you watch with an eardrum catching the rush of a morning sea.
"Yürei" is the Japanese concept of a ghost. The female apparition usually appears wearing a white kimono with her black hair loose and wind-swept. Most often, she has died in a sudden or violent manner without proper burial rites; or she is still (after death) influenced by powerful emotions that keep her earthbound until the conflict is resolved.
Wendy Howe is a free lance writer who lives with her partner in the high desert of Southern California. She has traveled the hills, canyons and coastline of the Pacific including the islands of Oahu and Maui. She also travels through time, myth and history as a mental shape-shifter, a poet. Her works have been published in diverse literary journals and two recent anthologies exploring myth and women's issues which include Lilith and Postcards From Eve. A lover of fresh picked fruit, she adores raspberries, ripe and plucked from their garden stalk, but when hearing the word "Cherry," she immediately thinks of the poem, Goblin Market, by Christina Rosetti, and those luscious lines that give a litany of fruited splendor.
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