One of WiK’s members has produced a retrospective look at the departing Year of the Monkey.  Some may have mixed feelings as we see off another year, but perhaps there’s something in this midwinter miscellancy which will resonate with the sensitive reader.  Our thanks to Anonymous for this Christmas Day package, a timely reminder that while yesterday is history and tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift and that’s why it’s called the present.

Goodbye, monkeys, it was fun while it lasted! (photo by J. Dougill, Yakushima)

Monkey Miscellany, Kyoto (Year of the Monkey)

Crow in the garden
Steals a fiery persimmon
Off to black boughs


Yellow temple wall
Yawning autumn slow sunlight
Sway leafless shadows


The wars of electricity
fought over dreams
Perhaps peace
when the world wakes up


Fall calico carpet
Forest floor wall to wall
were there walls


The young seek diligently
what the younger have found
and discarded
The old wander joyously lost
and empty handed


Crack clear winter dawn
(news is scarce)
two crows by railroad tracks
pick through steaming vomit

This white monkey at Sarutahiko Jinja (Kyoto) is seeing out the year, getting ready to pass the baton to the white rooster on the morning of Jan 1 (Japanese custom following the Meiji Restoration and the change to the Gregorian calendar).


“Mt. Hiei in the ‘blue hour’”

dark trees
patches of snow
clouds descend with night
escorting more dark
into these words


The New Year
fleeting warmth and laughter
many shoes in the genkan


What has not vanished
is illuminated
all but ghosts come to light


Where and when
Teachers are here
But they don’t appear
There and then


Clouds closing in
Winter wind cotton canopy
Only a blue void left behind