my heart today has no words only rain
The above photo is of a short poem titled “rain” from a collection of poems I published last year. It’s designed to reflect both the way Japanese language is traditionally written—right to left and top to bottom—as well as the way rain itself falls.
After hearing of the recent tragic mass shooting of children at an elementary school in Texas, I’ve been searching for something to offer this world with its incomprehensible sorrows. Surely there could be even just a few words to lighten the burden, ease the pain, to bring some kind of solace… After all, my poetic raison d’être of sorts is: crafting stories for a more beautiful and gentle world. I intentionally seek to illuminate beauty, love and light, even in the midst of our suffering… particularly in light of suffering, in light of the shadows. Words are my gift to this world, the flower of my heart I offer upon the alter.
But in these past days of searching, words firmly elude me. The strength to pick up scattered shards of my heart, eludes me. My body breaks down when thoughts are senseless and prayers echo, empty—again. In this paralysis of humanity, the little children are dying. What words can possibly carry meaning now? And so I, empty-handed, crave the rain.
I crave the rain. Let it fall, in torrents. Tears for all the little children. May it flood, a river over embankments of ammunition…. ammunition forged in outdated weapon-making factories, and in the defenses of ideological identity and warfare. May it rain for seven days and seven nights straight so that even the most guarded among us will finally seek refuge in the arms of another. May the relentless downpour drown out delusions of grandeur and bring all the mighty gods to their knees. And in the very end, may all the little children delight in the puddles—splashing about and dancing—carefree. Rainbows overhead. In the very very end, may all the little children simply be—children.