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April 18, 2005
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we reconstruct the man
from shards of paper and pottery
(a shrike in ink
a small wooden bodhisattva
a practical treatise on swordplay)

he said his only teacher was Nature
which is a fine thing to say
when you're good at everything

they say he slew Ganryū
with a length of oar
he'd whittled on impulse into a sword

so much for the soul of the samurai:
not metal, flashing and hard
priceless and irreplaceable

only a discarded wooden spar
emerging from refuse
to refuse returning

and perhaps his poems were the same
nourished by earth and water
whispering an answer to wind
burbling off towards the long sea

and this is how history left him
and this is how I might find him:

an old man on a mountain
preparing future warriors for poetry
writing his way back
into the world that wrote him

when he emerges from his grotto to converse with the single scarred wholeness of the moon, I steal towards his poems and brush the pages across my hands, like reaching for a damselfly at rest, to see how his brush struck a river through the page. My guard thus lowered, I do not see him enter; and this old man, who holds life and death in either callused hand—this man asks me with a child's eagerness which ones I like best, and whether I would like to take any of them home with me; and I smile, relieved, as if a falling hawk had not struck my eyes, but instead alighted on my glove; and I say, no need, I will remember them.

and in these days you may notice me grinning at nothing, or pausing on the morning after a storm to admire a branch that has split our path; I may spend time contemplating a mushroom, or a flickering bat; perhaps I'll take a breath, secretly watching your eyes sing across space like the compass moon; yes, perhaps you'll notice

and you may stare and ask me what I am doing

and I will answer

"I am reading Miyamoto Musashi's poetry."
Spring 2005: I've been working on this poem for a while and it means a lot to me.

Miyamoto Musashi (1583-1645) was the greatest badass ever to live. The son of a poor country samurai, Musashi resolved early in his youth to become the finest swordsman in all Japan. He was more than successful in this endeavor. Throughout Musashi's sixty-two years of life, he fought over sixty duels, winning all but one (in a rematch fight, Musō Gonnosuke, master of the jō staff, fought Musashi to a draw) and besting such illustrious opponents as Sasaki Kojirō "Ganryū," progenitor of the Swallow Style; Shishidō Baiken, expert in the kusari-gama chain-sickle; and all 60-100 members of the Yoshioka sword school at the same time. Although he is most renowned for his advances in the daishō style (fencing with a long and short samurai sword simultaneously), Musashi's favorite weapon was the wooden sword. Despite a reputation for never bathing (he didn't want to be ambushed in the bath) and wearing rough clothing, Musashi traveled in the most refined circles of Japanese society, where he shared his genius as a painter, calligrapher, sculptor, potter, gardener, and metallurgist; in these disciplines as well as in his martial pursuits, he claimed never to have had any formal teacher. Today his Niten Ichi-ryū sword style is still practiced, and his paintings of natural and Buddhist subjects delight art students as much as his Go rin no sho (Book of Five Rings) pleases martial arts enthusiasts. He is the subject of Yoshikawa Eiji's bestselling historical novel Miyamoto Musashi, which has been adapted into a film trilogy starring Mifune Toshirō and a comic series, Inoue Takehiko's Vagabond.

It was documented that Musashi was a poet … but mysteriously, none of his poetry has survived. Here is what I think about that.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2008-11-05
Musashi Miyamoto's Poetry by ~lula-vampiro is an ambitious attempt to describe a man's life and work, and quite successful. I enjoyed this very much. ( Suggested by LadyOichi and Featured by lovetodeviate )
:icon1-itachi-uchiha-1:
1-Itachi-Uchiha-1 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010
This poetry would rival Miyamoto-sama's poetry, it would bring a tear to his eye
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:icontiger-the-inkweaver:
Tiger-the-Inkweaver Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2010
Hell yeah he is the greatest badass to ever live.
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:iconsilva-zodiac:
Silva-Zodiac Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2010
As a writer myself, I can say that this is brilliant.

Even if the punctuation differs from my own preferred formatting... it is a good piece you have going here.

Like the others, I especially liked the last line of the poem. "Wrote back" was just a very good turn of phrase.

Favourited, to say the least.
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:icongavind21:
gavind21 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Student Artist
A very touching piece and a considerate homage. Something you should clarify however. His father, Munisai, and his grandfather Hirata Shogen, were vassals for Shinmen Iga no Kami, a wealthy Lord of the province. Since they taught swordplay, they were considerably well off and respected, to the point where they were awarded the Shinmen last name. Musashi left several statues and paintings he hada done. I'm curious as to whether you meant to change your style halfway through as he did with "Tiger at Dawn" or if it was a mere coincidence. Keep up the good work.
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:iconraentrieve:
Raentrieve Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Stumbles over the fact you got a DD. !!! O_O Hooray!!!

*reads*

O______O I can see why. Nice. Real nice.
Reply
:icona1be1nox:
A1be1nox Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Musashi would be proud...now if you could only convince him to bathe.
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:iconronin06:
ronin06 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009
I really don't know how to critique that, not being good at writing poetry even though I do appreciate it. It has even more meaning to me that you did take a long time to do it - as something that involves Musashi who sought to master whatever he put his mind and abilities to, that you put your time and talent to it - its a definite success.

I agree with animegirlmika - that last line was incredibly.

Its without flaw.
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:iconandyserrano:
AndySerrano Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
My favorite delicate lines were at the end:

....and in these days you may notice me grinning at nothing, or pausing on the morning after a storm to admire a branch that has split our path; I may spend time contemplating a mushroom, or a flickering bat; perhaps I'll take a breath, secretly watching your eyes sing across space like the compass moon; yes, perhaps you'll notice

and you may stare and ask me what I am doing

and I will answer

"I am reading Musashi Miyamoto's poetry."
Reply
:iconj-goth:
J-Goth Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008  Student General Artist
Very nice.
Reply
:iconsexliteratureishot:
sexliteratureishot Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008   Writer
amazing.
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