I Call His Smile

Written for:  Poets and Storytellers United
Weekly Scribblings #53 - Beautiful Words
(Posted by Rommy)

"Hello Word Artists and Admirers! In Japanese tea ceremony, it is customary to give your tools special poetic names. Part of the ceremony usually includes sharing the names of any special objects with your guests. The tea scoop used should have a name that reflects the season or time of year.

 Since many of us students don’t have fancy scoops with special names, we’ll often just pick a name that works. For instance, in my last lesson of 2020, I called my tea scoop toshiwasure, which means ‘forget the year’.

For this week’s prompt, I’ve selected a few poetic names from Bruce Hamana Sosei’s book, 100 Beautiful Words in The Way of Tea. Pick the English version of one (or more if the mood hits you) to shape your words around."

 Zuiun – clouds that predict good fortune
 Shitamoe – plants sprouting under last year’s dried grass or under
            the snow
 Hatsuyume – the first dream of the new year
 Uzumibi – buried fire
 Ryokuin – green shadows (sunlight filtering through green leaves)
 Hotaru-gari – go searching for fireflies
 Tsuki-koru – the moon freezes

He walks and talks
smile.  People see
a happy man sharing
joy with the world.
No one see the effort,
purposeful stretching
of his mouth to lock it
into position.  No one
knows the rage he carries
in his heart.  I call
his smile Buried Fire.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
This entry was posted in Purple's Home and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to I Call His Smile

  1. poetrybydebi says:

    I think of domestic abuse in your poem.


  2. Jim says:

    Some people are better off making pretend than showing their inner feeling.
    I like the propped and locked smile, aptly named Buried Fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, that feels quite menacing.My mind went exactly where Debi’s did.


  4. Helen Dehner says:

    … as my mother used to say ‘stop frowning your face will freeze that way’ …. same might be said for locked and buried fire.


  5. Susie Clevenger says:

    “Buried fire” I love that


  6. Lisa says:

    Nice to know he hides it, hopefully in private too. How many people might we see smiling that are raging inside. I think they need to talk to someone about that.


  7. robtkistner says:

    This country has been smoldering in lies and vitriol for 4 lllloooonnnng years — time to light the fire of truth and unity!


  8. Kestril Trueseeker says:

    Oooooh! That is a very intriguing use of the prompt.


Comments are closed.