5 poems in Quadrant
The March 2014 issue of Quadrant magazine contains five poems from Andrew: “Frog Cacophonies”, “Kyoto Blossoms”, “The Unheard Stags”, “Faces”, “Jizo Stones by the Three-Storeyed Pagoda”.
With the exception of “Frog Cacophonies”, these poem were written about and after Andrew’s stay (with his wife, Susan) in Kyoto in March-April 2013.
“Jizo Stones by the Three-Storeyed Pagoda” touches on the sorrow experienced by many Japanese women after abortion, sorrow they express in devotion to Jizo, a Buddhist bodhisattva who they believe will help the souls of their lost children (mizuko) to escape from the purgatory of Sai-no-Kawara.
The poem, along with a photograph of the Jizo statuettes, is offered below:
- Jizo stones, Nara. Photo (c) Andrew Lansdown, 2014
Jizo Stones by the Three Storied Pagoda
Treading softly the deer
graze among the Jizo stones
where mothers shed a tear
for their aborted children
and try to stem their fear
that the children suffer there
the hell they suffered here.
© Andrew Lansdown, 2013