|TABLE OF CONTENTS
XVI:1 February 2001
A Journal for Linking Poets
IS THIS THE END?
LOST THOUGHTS OF WAR RETURN: A DIARY OF THE
IN THE ALBUM
SELECTIONS FROM OTHER
Selections from The
Life Of Genji Poems
IN THE RIPPLE
|IS THIS THE END?|
Brendan Ryan (age 8, Charnwood, England)
Debra Woolard Bender (Orlando, Florida, USA)
head over heels
under closed curtains
a hawk flies
pieces of moon
on grandma's laundry
two mice peer
Excerpts from a work-in-progress by Sir Sidney Weinstein and
San Francisco, January 1943, Journey of a Naive Warrior: Boxing Matches Aboard Troopship
troopships five decks deep
men do not follow -
where, when will we fight
After a few months in the Army, I knew I had to bolster my reputation as being tough, which I had demonstrated by several successful fist fights with some rednecks who felt that a New York college boy was fair game for bullying. If I could prove that this was not so, I had a chance of being left alone; fortunately, it worked.
Several thousand men with nothing to do aboard a ship must have some diversion, and so the officers arranged some boxing matches to keep us occupied. I used the opportunity and volunteered to fight, listing my weight as welterweight. The results of the starvation rations aboard ship brought my weight down several pounds and so I was actually lighter than the 147 pounds that I weighed when I boxed in college; but since there was no scale aboard ship, I registered as a welterweight. I recall being stunned at the sight of my first opponent as he entered the ring. He clearly weighed considerably more than I did, and the referee stopped him cold before we got to the center of the ring, and blasted him, "Hey, what the hell do you weigh?"
My prospective opponent, obviously a large heavyweight, muttered something about weighing about 200 or so. The referee, one of the divisional officers, who apparently had some experience, asked him, "What the hell are you doing in the ring against a welterweight? You weigh fifty pounds more than him." He looked sheepishly at the referee and answered that he was taking his buddy's place who had changed his mind and decided not to fight. The referee just shook his head in disbelief and announced that the fight was off. He waved his arms from side to side indicating that the fight was canceled and gestured for us to leave the ring, but the crowd, unaware of the reason for the cancellation, and sensing that they were going to be deprived of entertainment, started to boo loudly.
I felt pressured by the crowd so, foolishly, instead of allowing the ref to cancel the match, which would have given me a win because of default by my original opponent, I told the ref that I would fight him. He seemed shocked and asked whether I was sure, because the guy was indeed considerably larger. I assured him I could handle him, and so he permitted us to fight; that eliminated the pressure from the protesting crowd, and they cheered. The referee should never have allowed a welterweight to be in the same ring as a super heavyweight, but perhaps as the referee, he felt he could prevent mayhem if it appeared that I was likely to be badly hurt.
I decided not to adopt a "slugging" approach - this guy was too big, and had to be avoided. I couldn't risk being hit by him, so I boxed him skillfully and remained untouched by him, while I rhythmically worried his face with jabs. I won the fight easily, and, as my hand was raised in victory, I could peer about and see that the observers from my own company, all sitting at ring side, were cognizant of my easy win. I was pleased since they would realize I would not be easily bullied, since I did not retreat and beat a much larger opponent.
The next day, our first Sergeant encountered me on the deck and upbraided me for not shaving. He was always alert to find fault with me, but I countered that I had volunteered to box and represent our company, and fighters never shave before boxing since it leaves their skin vulnerable to cuts. He seemed surprised, but had no reply except to say I would have had to shave after my match. I argued, however, that if I won the next match, there would still be one more the next day and I wouldn't be able to shave for that one as well. I rubbed in my former victory and the possibility that I would win even another, and he walked off sullen.
The second fight was with a very fast opponent who was the same weight, but who had only a single form of defense: He only ducked to his left. After the first round, I decided I would feint broadly and swing a hard right in the direction where I predicted his head would be. I hit him hard, he staggered, and barely recovered, so I coasted to an easy win.
My third match was against one of the men in my own company, Larry Larragoite, a pleasant guy from the New Mexico, and neither of us felt much like fighting each other, but after the first very passive round, the referee sensed our reluctance and admonished us to engage. We picked up the pace although we didn't punch hard, and despite my loss in a close decision, the advantages of being seen entering the ring, and my willingness to fight enhanced my immunity from the bullies who were reluctant to engage men who did not retreat.
The Philosopher's Response to Sir Sidney Weinstein:
The question of military leadership has exercised the minds of strategists, historians, and philosophers for centuries. A man I respect for his quality as a field commander and as a professional soldier was Lieutenant-General Adachi Hatazo. He was born in Tokyo in 1890 into a family with samurai traditions. There was refinement about him as well as the ruggedness of a soldier. He wrote tanka and was skilled in calligraphy as well as being an expert in karate and kendo-. He graduated from the Tokyo Military Academy in 1910 and from the War College 1n 1922 becoming a member of the Japanese Army General Staff in 1925. He was made a lieutenant general in November 1942, and took command of the Japanese Eighteenth Army in New Guinea. He had to leave immediately for the war zone and could not attend his wife's funeral.
New Guinea was one of the major battle grounds of World War II with immense suffering on both sides. Adachi was a brave soldier, but the battles read as a litany of defeats: Buna, Gona, Salamaua, Wewak, Lae, Hansa Bay, Rabaul and Aitape. He surrendered at Cape Wom in August 1945, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The incontestable facts of atrocities involving the Eighteenth Army are there, but he argued innocence for himself and for his senior commanders. However, there is an inexorable logic in all armies at war, whether at Agincourt or Aitape, shown beautifully in Shakespeare's Henry V. Silence of generals condones the crimes of the least soldier. This must not be allowed to impugn Adachi's skill, daring, compassion for his soldiers and his own willingness to lead from the front, and to endure hardship for the sake of his troops. He committed suicide in his prison cell at Manus Island on the 10th of September 1947.
There are two swords in the magnificent War Memorial in Canberra. The first, Adachi's personal sword is a shin-gunto- of possible date 1511, although this date may be doubtful. The second is also a fine sword of 1596 forging style. It also is a shin-gunto- but is a sword from one of Adachi's senior officers.
From Lieutenant-General Adachi's Last Will and Testament.
[Gavin Long, The Final Campaigns. Australian War Memorial; Canberra, 1963; p 342.]
"I have demanded perseverance far exceeding the limit of endurance of my officers and men, who when exhausted succumbed to death like flowers falling in the winds. Only the gods know how I felt when I saw them dying but at that time I made up my mind not to set foot on my country's soil again. I will remain a clod of earth in the Southern Seas with my 100,000 officers and men, even if a time should come when I would be able to return to my country in triumph."
One can only imagine this man's anguish. His wife and daughter had both died after long illnesses. He had failed the Emperor. After a lifetime of service all his world had come to nothing.
In the cell's darkness,
last year's beads
walking the dirt road
a scarlet leaf
moon dark . . .
the first crocus -
leafless, the curve
PICTURES IN THE ALBUM
colors of summer
no sound louder than
children run about
the circle of tents
in the pumpkin field
and yet another nosegay
her youngest son-
ripe fruit in the orchard
with every step
dangling from his wrist
shadows move all over
Indian burial ground
gift shop in the museum
from the roof tops
on the slope of the mountain
sitting at his bedside-
he plays the shakuhachi
a silent waterfall
a cool iron
a nod here a smile there
a reflection of my face
tied to the car hood
on a hunt
star spangled sky
on my wall
she saves his valentine
on the pages
A lady novelist, expecting to get enough material for a book, when she visits distant royalty, finds herself imprisoned without paper or pen, let alone a writing machine, in a cold castle.
[3 five minutes scenes, each of them alternately produced by different filmmakers.]
A failed playwright, who is nonetheless successful at writing pornography, purchases a new grandiose apartment that he thinks will fulfill all of his fantasies.
[The colors change in response to the escalating plot or spectators can change colors by remote control.]
A theatrical agent, with more than uncommon success as a Casanova, gets his come-uppance when he lusts after a new client whom he discovers is his daughter from a long- forgotten marriage.
[The scenario is run also at the theater's ceiling on which a religious Renaissance painting and alternately, a painting by Francis Bacon, "The Pope", is projected.]
A female gas station attendant tries to help two out-of-state burglars on the lam, in exchange from promised cut of their loot and maybe some affection as well.
[Two almost similar scenes are run but with significant different cuts]
A doctor accused of murdering a colleague goes underground, where he accidentally comes across a gang of drug dealers whose arrest he initiates without jeopardizing his situation.
[Using a second projector and screen space on the left side, part of the private home live of all the actors involved are screened in.]
A family engages in elaborate debates over whether to emigrate, which they eventually decide not to do.
[From time to time, with intervals of seven seconds a computer cuts out the persons. The screen is then blank, only the actors' voices go on recorded.]
At the door of a mansion arrives a handsome woman, surprising its elderly occupants, claiming that she is widow of their dead son.
[1) The dialogs are physically spoken, film running with almost no sound. 2) Dialogs spoken but the scenes are cut into stills. 3) Dialogs presented with sign-language, scenes partly with sound going on, partly not]
An American inheriting an African plantation trains chimpanzees to harvest his crops.
[On the screen's space, the dimensions of the stage or alternately, the dimensions of the acting persons or animals are altered (they appear much too small or much too big in relation to their surroundings.]
The clients of a small boarding school discover that their headmaster is a sadist and his stuff is no more sympathetic.
[The actors are native white skins or alternately, the natives have dark skins.]
A horny young teacher rents one room of his apartment to a homely young woman from the provinces and another to an experienced male seducer.
[2 screens: on one of them the actors appear naked, on the other one the actors are dressed in Victorian style.]
A girl caught in a hurricane is rescued by a mysterious stranger who, his pet ocelot notwithstanding, turns out to be a champion fencer with whom she falls in love, the pet notwithstanding.
[The actions are repeated, but with different dialogs. The actors' gene analysis appears on a second small screen together with a diagnosis obtained from seventeen doctors.]
An American spy crashes his plane into a potentate's palace at the same time that his girl friend, working as a reporter, arrives to do an interview.
[In a close-up swing along the boss' dining room one almost certainly can identify detectors and video cameras.]
The governess' daughter supports the musical studies of his mistress's ungrateful son.
[During the performance different kinds of incense are fogging the theater.]
Academic archeologists, falling down a shaft, find themselves in a world unlike any described in the accepted professional literature.
[The scenes of the film are interrupted by the playwright herself, a former dancer, who shows her motives for the invention of this drama only by gestures and gesticulations.]
A gambler and his granddaughter admit into their lives a miserly dwarf whose machinations make them miserable.
[The scene is filmed in negative black and white film and alternately in positive film material, so all whites dark or visa versa.]
Two mannish lesbians living on an isolated farm are frightened by the arrival of a wandering seaman.
[The screen appears as a wave-like construction, moves slightly to both sides, always parts of the film out of focus. Then, the scenery changes inconspicuously and two homosexual men are frightened by the arrival of a wandering nymph.]
A lady detective ingeniously exposes a fake female spiritualist.
[The material is collaged in a way that every twenty seconds the scene is repeated in slow motion so one can check again on what has happened during this private investigation.]
Two gangsters out to kill each other are disarmed by a little girl and her winsome dog.
[The same scene is filmed three times: before a luxurious hotel in Los Angeles, in the heat of an oasis between pyramids in the desert, and in a Zoo.]
as human beings
the farmer goes home
the wind awakes it
squalls tug at his sleeves
children pick up stones
half hidden faded rags
banners on tall poles
the sower is the ruler
after a sound sleep
a rambler under his coat
waylayers driven off
former mother of the corn
procession of old trousers
the birds fly higher
freaks in spotlight
witches foretell future
sparrow, dog with walker
forty sorts of deluxe rolls
a murdering pursuit-race
never winter clothes
water ripples in the furrows
sun in his blind eye
a rest in the treetops
St. John's bonfires blaze
droppings from the sky
a life-size imitation-heron
spilled oil drowns the seeds
a flood of starlings
the cross-skeleton stripped
a glorious morning
a kiss from the May-fairy
the first of November
exhibition of ourselves
SELECTIONS FROM OTHER RENS
confetti to sweep up
Sunday afternoon I'd love to stroll on the Island of La
twisting and flipping she's got the cheerleader tactics down
sworn at over the phone after a tentative blossom-viewing
richest nerd taken down a notch see my haiku help the
the diplomat gives over his home to part of the gonzalez
how handy for males when the god and the priests are male
*from the Greek theos
Tangled in the branches
along the cliff's edge
the pieces of birch bark
across the moon's face
with fingers nimble
dreaming of a hut
I am sitting here
write all your sorrows
patches of violets
no blossoms this year
a bevy of white pines
taller each day
found and treasured
I am always
oak leaf fragments
January 1999 to January 2000
Selections from The Life Of Genji Poems
12 - 1
if going to
Poor people, usually women, living along the coast derived some income from boiling sea water down for its salt or burning gathered sea weeds for minerals contained in the ash to be used as fertilizer. Though the work was hard, wet and dirty, poets found a wealth of images in the process: dripping wet sleeves, briny tears, fires on lonely beaches, smoke like that of the crematoriums. Mount Toribe (toribeyama) was the customary place of cremation and burial for Kyoto.
12 - 3
mi wa kakute
in this way
12 - 4
though we part
12 - 7
no chance to meet
12 - 8
a bubble floating
12 - 16
ike ru yo no
living in the world
12 - 17
no longer precious
12 - 39
a mountain person
Shiba = 1) firewood; shiba shiba = often, many times.
12 - 41
a flock of plovers
A SYMBIOTIC HOPE
a dry dock from Meiji
around landing place
and yet exists
warm rain's falling -
Do you still hear "the jocund sound
IN THE RIPPLE
in the ripple,
side by side
the morning sun,
late in the evening
still in the treetop
in the morning fog,
the rainy summer -
poplar grove -
Deadline for the next issue is May 1, 2001
|Poems Copyright © Designated Authors
Page Copyright© Jane Reichhold 2001.
I would like to know more about Renga.