haikai

A Katana’s Lament: a #Tankaprose…#tanka #haibun #poetry

hanwei-lotus-citadel-katana-ships-free-1

What? You expected gratitude?

That you forged me of steel in the hottest flames? More than two-hundred folds to ensure my density? Sharpened my edge so that, in a master’s hand, I could slice through bamboo in a single stroke?

Then you ignored the wisdom of the old master:

“Weapons are unhappy tools…”

 

barren fields

legends scripted in blood

on faded parchment

how many young men die

for old men’s dreams?

 

Why should I be grateful?

I am a tool whose intended use is slaughter. My sharp edge can as easily dismember a man from shoulder to hip as a bamboo trunk. And often did, in the hands of angry young men–privledged with rank and training–when mere peasants “dishonored” them. Such summary execution was a samurai’s right, after all.

And how many truly noble samurai did I cut down in duals among masters, or masters’ pupils? How many perished because of me in the civil wars following the Heian period?

Do you truly believe I will thank you?

 

crow caws

another transport departs

with wide-eyed young men

Is lasting peace an exercise

in futility?

 

for Poets United–Midweek Motif–weapon,

Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge no. 68, and

Kiwinana’s #Weekly Tanka Prompt #Poetry Challenge–week 81

 

 

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25 replies »

  1. I like the perspective of this piece, Frank, the direct address and the overall shape.I particularly like the lines:
    ‘Weapons are unhappy tools’
    and
    ‘how many young men die
    for old men’s dreams?’

    Like

  2. It’s not the weapon but the hands that wield it. Why should war be shunned when it is so profitable? As the world is overpopulated what better job than to be in the service of the country as we can always find a reason to make war.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ““Weapons are unhappy tools…”

    “barren fields
    legends scripted in blood
    on faded parchment
    how many young men die
    for old men’s dreams?”

    What a powerful voice you give this weapon that would rather be a tool. I applaud Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Weapon production is a fine business so is this lasting terrorism. Peace has no place here. “Is lasting peace an exercise / in futility?” It is. I like the lay out of the poem, the weapon voice and the powerful Tanka. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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