LITERARY NOOK

Welcome Ono Kazuhiko

“Westerners like to conquer mountains; Orientals like to contemplate them. As for me, I like to taste the mountains.” —Santoka Taneda

Ocean Tasting is a group of poems inspired by “Mountain Tasting, Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda.” Santoka Taneda (1882-1940) was a Zen poet in the wandering hermit tradition of Japan. I have been inspired by his journals as much as his haiku. In place of ‘Tasting Mountains’ I have written two sonnet trilogies which I call ‘Ocean Tasting’.
This second sonnet trilogy welcomes Ono Kazuhiko to Saipan. Ono is the new consul for the Consular Office of Japan on Saipan, CNMI. Prior to coming here Ono was in the Japanese Consul Office in Wellington, New Zealand. He began his service here in the CNMI on May 8, 2019. He will be attending an annual Shinto memorial service held on the southeast cliffs of Tinian on June 19, 2019.

OCEAN TASTING # 2, a sonnet trilogy

SANTOKA’S THREE PRECEPTS

DO NOT WASTE ANYTHING
use the blue plastic bottle rings for Impressionist art bubbles
every wrapped baby, puppy, and kitty, for warm fuzzy cuddles
the chance to splash and wade through muddy mud puddles
reuse the boiled water left after cooking any noodles

DO NOT GET ANGRY
hard to forgive the drug addict swinging at my head
easy to get up early after just going to bed
swallowing my pride when insults were said
eating food I burned instead of going unfed

DO NOT COMPLAIN
about the rain when you wanted to walk
about silence in the library when you wanted to talk
about cats spraying everywhere and NO Parking
about no room on Lover’s lane for some sparking

OCEAN TASTING
waste not want not, cold or hot, the brain maintains
the sound of rain on banana leaves gently explains

SANTOKA’S THREE VOWS

DO NOT ATTEMPT THE IMPOSSIBLE
scrambling hiking then falling face down on the sea cliff
staying warm enough sleeping in a snow cave not stiff
standing twelve hours in place till someone gives me a lift
refusing to give in to laughter then getting a great gift

DO NOT FEEL REGRET ABOUT THE PAST
shoulda woulda coulda sometimes vows
first refusal then easily making some bows
jumping from trees on the back of grazing cows
learning and asking the who, whys, when and hows

DO NOT BERATE ONESELF
mad that I got mad at you and mad at me too
bored with myself just couldn’t think it through
particle theory physics only partly proven true
slowly recovering from self-pity and feeling blue

OCEAN TASTING
now old enough at 69 to enjoy some looking back
no regrets, no tears goodbye, getting elderly knack

SANTOKA’S THREE JOYS

STUDY
reading in bed turning from side to side
reading on the ground ants mouths open wide
reading by the sea at sea level and on the cliffs
reading at the kitchen table delicious whiffs

CONTEMPLATION
thinking about thinking about thinking
before during and a long time after drinking
falling asleep tender thoughts sinking
both ears open to music both eyes blinking

POETRY
in seven minutes many a written sonnet
different topics with fourteen lines on it
I knew at first glance that I really want it
thoughts quickly come in waves like a comet

OCEAN TASTING
calm waters and rough seas in the Pacific Ocean
waves tides currents help create the commotion

JOEY “PEPE BATBON” CONNOLLY Author
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