after Kengo Kuma's installation RA London 2014.
I was sorry to see this Japanese piece leave London
but happy to celebrate its enlightened beauty here...

London, bright as a brass band
bouncing off a stack of tins,
fades in the dark shadow-walls
of a Japanese courtyard
whose spring of acoustic glints
slips between the night threads
of my eyes.

Dreams drawn with hinoki lights rise in bamboo wisps.
A copse of birches, a bank of clouds; a vertical sea in stasis.
A ballet corps, frozen in its encore.
And curving up in double triple eights
an acrobatic troupe:
A violin on viola shoulders, resting on cello hips, embraced by a double bass.
A hinoki jewel which hate cannot penetrate.
Its tear-shaped facets still, suspend, repair
all worldly animosity.

Visitors ignore the signs
their camera flashes strike Kuma forest,
lightening hits a crowd of wings
which flap and break newly claustrophobic space.

Waves of wings rock the shore
of my insomnia; yet
I am curiously happy
knowing Kuma-san sleeps
sweetly to the scent of tatami.
Tears fall through a criss-cross rain,
roll along receding sheets,
coalesce into a single drop
before scattering in far-flung dots.

‘Please do not touch!
I circle the trees
seven times, like the Jewish bride her groom
twenty-four, like the hands the clock
until our binding.
It is written that on Dismantlement Day
the forest will blow away
but I will hold its breath inside my lungs
until rivers of wings fly
through forest voids


© Hatty Mare 2014 *


Kengo Kuma: Your poem would draw my inspiration.
Helen Ivory: Lovely imagery in your poem.
Toby Thompson: Thanks for the poem, it’s a beautiful thing.
Be transported by Kuma-san's eloquence...


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