WALL HANGING FOR KURI KINDI CAFE
--for the friends of Mayumi Kaneko
Mayumi opens the door
and we all enter and look around.
When she came to us,
to Karen and I, half
her life ago, we did not know
that she was going to unite
our worlds, or that she
was going to heal our family
in the way that she would heal yours
at Kuri Kindi. She was not pouring
tea in your cup in Yokohama
She was a high school girl.
She came to be with our daughters
and became our daughter.
Even then she was carrying
rain forest wisdom,
ancient sources of ancestors
interconnecting kuri kindi, but we were blind.
Guardians of rivers and ancestors
had called to her, and she asked them,
What I can do? They told her,
The forest is on fire--
Insects and birds rushed to escape.
Kuri Kindi stayed behind. She was told
about the little bird, the hummingbird
from Peru--she told us this,
many years later. We didn’t
know it for decades! For years!
Little bird between water and fire
bringing a single drop of water
from its beak onto the fire below.
When the animals saw this,
they began to laugh at Kuri kindi.
Why are you doing this, they asked laughing.
And Kuri Kindi replied,
I am doing what I can do.
When Mayu returned to us,
she told this story. We knew
the elegance of Japan,
but now, the silence spoke
here and there, silence shifting
in its chair, and we
among the cranes, Senbazuru,
one thousand cranes, tsuru,
the loneliness that surrounds us all
with its treasure, Good luck, long life.
A Cuban hummingbird
makes nests the size of a quarter.
The bee hummingbird heart
beats 1260 times per minute
21 beats per second,
a flying jewel, migratory,
up down and backwards.
Kuri Kindi sweetens the moment.
Mayu massages Karen’s feet
as she tells us this story.
We are talking of Bashō, green tea,
and the long journey to the north
being like a bird flying across
the Pacific Ocean. One drop,
she says. I can be that one drop.
She is like a bird carrying bird wisdom.
A gold thread in a silk scarf.
31 January 2022