He speaks about his buildings

as if they might be beloved children

slowly making himself clear

translating his Japanese thoughts

into careful English,

with a humility that would shame

some of the great ones,

dead and alive.

A paper cathedral, colorful shipping crates

for the displaced of natural disasters.

Not encouraged by his family,

his father, in particular, this man

was once a young boy who dreamed

and says why not me, why not paper,

cardboard or recyclable materials?

Why can't architects help the poor

feel that they matter? Temporary dwellings

become loved and permanent, useful.

Even his more extravagant, better paying

designs and buildings incorporate

a fusion of nature, within and outside.

His soft laughter is like wind on water

and I find myself wishing him happiness

though seemingly he has found that and more.