A Kind of Drinking Song

The celebrants of Friday scotch, men of lesser deeds
Spent time like pocket change in endless café-bars
Made noise enough to wake the quick and dead:
There was light drizzle on a cherry blossom way,
The six of us, smashed, but more high on ourselves
As most young men will be when booze is abused,
When Dwight, a good natured poet, began shouting,
“So what’s art from no-Nukes if your Ego-jerking girl
Leaves you for easy game, empty-handed in the café
Street fights in the rain!” (You had to be there.)
Then continued as thunder slammed the sky…

“It’s the leaven of the mind to know for every stance
A different man while pissing on the earth; how best
In these times, to get between the legs of truth and
Have a fucking field day, my friends, especially when
Language, words, speak mostly to nothing new now
And the dull edge of the age digs us all a deeper grave!
But look, the moon falls to fullness, suns round the sky
For no purpose but to burn, wisdom in my mind recalls
A semi-conscious boyhood, and above the mountains
As if to mock my fury, that belt of morning thunder

Makes us all wiser fools…”

We had to carry him two blocks to his place after that.
There seemed some weight in what he said, so I kept it.



Poem by Rayn Roberts– Kyoto, Japan 1982

Of One and Many Worlds


Where winter ends and spring begins
white plum willow green
yellow broom
break the monotony
of brown and grey,
magnolias open like hands
asking nothing, offering all …

Beak wing and claw gather
twig cloth limb and stick
whatever warms
the magpie nestling.
In the waking hills
feral cats hunt and fatten.

A white haze of mountain sky
falls to earth
the foggy breath of an imperial dragon –
There is meaning
in every motion or change
the momentary violets pushing into light
are questions
the old trap of time letting go –


Is the coming of joy and more pain
worth the space I take?
Is the choice free…
I don’t know, but hold as seasons
spin ’round
this eternal spring
waking a world to all that is possible



It always brings sadness
To the elderly
Sitting on the ground
Under cherry trees
Bento and sakura mochi
Along the Kamogawa
Drag an old heart down
in the beauty
Of pink flowers: Spring
Lovely yet so hard
Another year to suffer
Lifting sake to the gods!




Rayn Roberts

I lived six years in Japan, one year in Kyoto, a remarkable place.