tetsugaku no michi

a hand
not yours
on the philosopher’s path

you behind the lens

how the old
carved stones
tramp straight

into a future
where two borders
of trees merge
into one

sometime later
on the tracks
over may island

nose to steel
and nothing’s changed

time is still linear
hemmed by dark foliage
but with a pronounced


About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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7 Responses to kyoto-richmond

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    I use to have one next to my home in 京都.
    Here a photographer tries to catch the feel, it seems.

  2. brian miller says:

    nice…i like that last stanza especially….the time linear, hemmed and curved…ha…def one to think on…like the imagery as well of that stone path tramping into the future…

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    BTW, I use to live at the midpoint of the line connecting Ginkakuji and Nanzenji — lived there for 7 years. Here is a link for other readers who want to see pics of the path. Where did you live and how long?

    I do know the odd phenomena of living in a very different culture for a long time and then when returning to your old culture “time is still linear — where two borders merge — [and] nothing’s changed. That happened when I moved back from India, back from Japan, and when I came off 36 hours shifts working in trauma surgery in a knife-and-gun club in a Wash. DC county hospital.

    Maybe that is one of the phenomena you poem is pointing to.

    • Ray Sharp says:

      Hi Sabio (wise man, in Spanish)
      I did not visit Japan (or Virginia). I just looked at two photos, and imagined.
      Thank you for your cool comments. I have never been to Asia. I have traveled a lot in Europe and Latin America, and lived in Mexico City. It is interesting living in a new culture, and the return can be difficult, or at least require time for adjustment, after living in places where your perspective is changed so much. An experience more people should have.

  4. Time is still linear…and you’ve captured the merging of cultures and the unfolding of place as it affects us in life.

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