Two Views of Mt. Fuji (Hokusai)
The fishermen climb
the lip of the hungry wave
rising to devour them.
In their long, bone-yellow boats--
a Shinto shrine at their prows,
they bear into the overhanging
mouth of the sea that casts
spray in heavy snowflakes.
The peaked wave reaches for them
with scores of white fangs.
Over and over,
they approach a cresting moment--
bent into prayer
by a fierce ocean.
Mt. Fuji stands in the distance--
a snow-robed sentry.
The travelers walk winding roads
through apricot evening air.
They struggle past
blowing waves of rice grass.
A man's conical hat is blown
by gusts from a distant typhoon.
Curled, milky pages
of a woman's letters escape
the cage of her arms.
A tree bends in the wind's fury,
its leaves flying
like clusters of blackbirds.
Mt. Fuji watches with a blank, twilit face.
copyright 1995 by John Gorski
John Gorski is published in the anthology, Seattle Poems bySeattle Poets (Poetry Around Press, 1992).