Christina A. Sharik

It is poetry that effortlessly moves the heavens and the earth, awakens the world of invisible spirits to deep feel, softens the relationship between men and women, and consoles the hearts of fierce warriors.

905 AD poet Ki no Tsurayuki, translated by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani

FIERCE WARRIORS

I read a quote that
says that poetry can
console fierce warriors.

Do fierce warriors
need consoling?
What an odd thought.

And yet, the Samurai
composed their death poems
with great care
sometimes taking all night
to write three lines.

I think my dad was a Fierce Warrior
I know he needed consolation
I think he sought redemption
in my mother’s eyes
and at night, we listened to
his muffled cries.

Doesn’t everyone’s daddy
have nightmares?
Dad would yell, and mom would say
It’s ok,
it’s ok;
it’s ok…
And we rolled over and went
back to sleep

Ahh, but the price of War is steep…
and fierce warriors in every age
have to rest sometime
have to regroup
every warrior has to be consoled
in some way
to start anew
to live, to fight another day

I think Fierce Warriors
who compose their three line poems
at dawn
need consolation
before each blade is drawn.