the origin of the name is unclear– it could mean “immortal” though

photo by totomai martinez

photo by totomai martinez

day steps through a portal of just leaves
and mountain view, the emptiness
of clear blue sky’s peaceful possibility

i drive on the highway in the rain
hyperactive wiper’s rap&we talk this and that
as we pass giants that know of japan
only from a special fountain pen brand
that they sell on amazon

we stop by the roadside at a small café
her hair grown grey after the chemo&
not many people on the boardwalk
as whole battalions of rain disappear
loudless in the city’s gutters.

“what about your car?”
“the battery is dead but–“
“get it done” i say
&want to throw her into life
with all the force that piles like hordes of wild dwarves in my chest

a torrent’s morse code on the pane
&she eats chocolate cake
colors accumulate outside the front door
“red, blue, yellow– you just need the basics” i say
“then go from there”

the mountain watches us with snow-capped head
“you know its name?”
“is it Fuji?”
“doesn’t matter really, we fall off this one,
we take the next” i say
&soaking wet, i slowly pull the car
——into the traffic
.

today at dVerse we’re writing to totomai martinez’ pics
photo used with his friendly permission

35 responses to “the origin of the name is unclear– it could mean “immortal” though

  1. Of all that the earth offers us, there is something so peaceful and reassuring about gazing at a mountain peak. Perhaps it is the hope that it offers, the constancy of the beauty no matter which season….even among the chemo and the rain and the dead battery life continues to amaze us. And that snow-capped mountain continues to watch over all….its snow-capped head seeming to smile in the background.

  2. excellent title…it grabbed me right away….i like how you intro the season through its elements up front…cool little trip you had with your friend and it was probably good for her to get some life back inher life in the after….i like your little truth you share there in the end as well…about falling off one mountain to climb the next…

  3. “giants that know of japan
    only from a special fountain pen brand
    that they sell on amazon” – these lines made me smile as some of my favorite pens are from Japan. It made me reflect on what we really know when we talk about a place.
    I would not mind seeing mountains on my morning drive. Yet I have the beautiful maple leaves in the Fall so I am not complaining.

  4. How I would love to travel to see it up close ~

    But I admire the encouragement you give to your friend Claudia ~ That desire to throw her into life, just the basics & more to come ~ Hope all is well ~

  5. I live in Western WA state, surrounded by mountains, staring at Mt. Rainier looming large from a hundred vantage points. It is still an active volcano, so it enhances the mystical relationship with it knowing you are only as safe as it allows you to be. A terrific poem you presented, really illustrated the sense of the Totomai image. I took one he snapped in the Philippines. I like your lines /&want to throw her into life/with all the force that piles like hordes of wild dwarves in my chest/.

  6. Oh how I love this – all of it. Especially “with all the force that piles like hordes of wild dwarves in my chest”. Spectacular! Poignant story. and your closing stanza is brilliant.

  7. Your imagination took us to an unexpected place this time, c. “We pass giants that know Japan” is a wonderful phrase and sums it up quite well…there is so much that is bigger than us…we must keep on keeping on.

  8. Nice. I got the feel of a meaningful trip with a friend who needs you. The trip becomes meaningful for the reader as you divulge tidbits of your conversation and observations. Such a good write. Typical for you.

  9. I’m reading into this but I think this refers to B—– and, if so, the title is all the more amazing to me. I love how you kick her into life, or want to, anyway. Great stream of consciousness, which I am coming to realize, is your signature style.

  10. A beautiful beginning… and an overall thoughtful write. I loved this bit: “&want to throw her into life/with all the force that piles like hordes of wild dwarves in my chest”. The determination to live and the power of hope are great in this verse.
    -HA

  11. “not many people on the boardwalk
    as whole battalions of rain disappear
    loudless in the city’s gutters.”

    People disappear, rain too–without a sound–but not this one with the grey hair, a survivor who has to embrace life. Survive one fall, climb again. Tell her! I feel as though you said that directly to me, tho of course, that is not true. I have missed your poems that entwine the human event inside the symbolic world.

  12. To Mt. Fuji… ah, it’s on my bucketlist of ‘to-go’ places on earth… as always you capture the beauty in words with your masterful descriptions & natural conversations all mixed well inside your poetry… I like your title too… very nice!

  13. In the midst of pain and suffering, there is life…and so true, we don’t need to start with ALL the colours…just the basics will do, and we can expand from there.

  14. Lovely and deep poem, C …I turned white at my temples age 27 after my baby died … have been wearing my “white crown” ever since … and still trying to climb that mountain in order to see the whole wide picture … o, well, some time it’ll happen … or not … who cares about what it’s name is … Thank you for sharing your gift … Always, cat.

  15. This picture is stunning, I think sometimes we need to jump start our batteries as we sometimes feel drained in the journey. I think it is true that one must face each mountain one step at a time. You are a master at storytelling and I always enjoy reading your words.

  16. I should love to see Fuji someday. (Until then I have a Fuji digicam, but not the special pen found only on Amazon.)

    Love the battalions of rain pairing of words!

    I’m glad she ate the chocolate cake, she surely deserves it.

    Your poetry stops time for me, as usual. Thanks.

    xoxo

  17. That majestic peak and the awed, calm contemplation it entices people to engage in. But then there are those two lines which express all your pain and anger at the passivity and hopelessness:
    ‘I want to throw her into life
    with all the force that piles like hordes of wild dwarves in my chest’
    and this stops being a pretty, well-balanced poem, but turns into something much more. I feel like that about my mother on occasion.

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