Cyrus Cassells The Bamboo Labyrinth Legions of rice stalks and midsummer reeds Swayed in accelerating wind. In love, I followed you all the way to Sado Island. Fleeing a farrago of Taiko drums, In favor of the earliest assembling stars, We laughed and ambled in the twilit Silver and jade-green field, With our flimsy muslin shirts Unbuttoned to reveal, As if to Lothario Jupiter, The Big Dipper, and the pockmarked moon, Those old-time eavesdroppers And unregenerate voyeurs, The truant glory of our saké-splashed Collarbones and throats— A beguiling garland of lights shimmered, Festooning the flowing Sea of Japan—a little broadcast Brilliance from Korea (or Manchuria?)— And almost straightaway, baleful clouds Came along to block the ebullient stars. With a shower in locomotion our way, We hurried to a standstill battalion Of hallowing trees; So help me, I’d never encountered Living bamboo, and by chance, There was a whole god-sent grove To revel in— When the flat-footed, rummaging storm, The Kabuki-wild rain reached us, We weren’t abject or enraged, Like bull-headed Lear roughly booted outdoors By his repudiating daughters; We were antic, July-giddy— Volume 8 No 1 - Page 23

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