A Rainy Evening In Kyoto - Poem by Niko Tiliopoulos
'The centre of all things zen'
read the city guide in front of me.
I summoned my soul and recited a mantra
but the gods were still sad,
and my clothes,
unimpressed and wet,
begged for shelter.
I entered a café,
and Coltrane's tunes
passed me by on their way out,
through the sliding doors,
vibrating the reflections
of the wealthy city lights
on the crowded raindrops.
The smokers were dying
together in isolation in the corner.
My ice coffee joined them reluctantly
and the 'healthy' people laughed at us...
from a distance.
I observed them,
I observed them all.
But through the ice cubes
they looked distorted and distant.
Or was it myself I was looking at?
It didn't matter really.
The cigarettes rolled and burned away
and my coffee dried out,
ungracefully, in the heat.
I left that café,
with my clothes still wet,
and, by now, tarred,
but I stole some of those blue notes
to keep my mood company
on its way to the hotel,
through the neon sutra,
the helpless mantras,
and the sadness of Buddha.
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