Stark, humble, spines,
Upon a spit of crumpled stone.
There below, an inky pock,
A brinish bowl, gathers salts.
A coarse cup where, ancient and unremarked,
Bare, hollow-boned priests paced and washed.
Above the bitter green ocean-weed, raised a storm-worn
standard to the stinging ablution
Of a sweeping, shapeless sea.
A basin where I dipped and whispered,
Licked from my long hands.
Gave thanks for flesh.
The feeding upon of Her finny brood.
Then, the cedar ensnarled mount above like a glass,
a sistering shrine,
Of fine rounded rock; soft singing pools.
There I made my way above the storming grey,
And washed from my nails the white weepings of
Addled, unremembered sea-gods.
Composed upon viewing a bare-boned,granite Torii upon the Pacific battered coast near Oarai, Ibaraki-ken, Japan.