seth howard | tenjin matsuri


I stood before the lantern glow
With people brushing past my shoulders
And thought to myself but indistinctly
I should have done this long ago
A flower on her summer kimono
A flower in her hair

I knew there was someone out there
For me, but I didn’t know where
Walking past shops in the communal flow
I saw faces in the crowds
And felt like letting go
Of my past but for a day

Ruddy faces going places
Staying there to rest, I walked
Alone along the river, watching boats
Lit up like lanterns float
Across a starlit sky, people
Sighed with awe, I bumped into
A passerby

As I made my way around
The festival, bright lights from booths
Pretty girls left and right
In that old traditional dress
I never thought I’d see the day
I’d be here, I confess

The path was circular
The destination was the beginning
But as I circumnavigated through the crowds
It seemed somehow sad that I should find myself
Here of all places, all those days of wasted
Hours, idle noontide races—
At last I had come upon a clearing
Then, in the evening sky, bursts of light
Illuminating darkness
Leaving the world with a sigh

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