Friday, October 28, 2016

David Allen writes


Waiting for another trial
to begin, for someone’s
fate to be sealed,
for Lady Justice
to blindly balance
her scales.

In Japan they readily tip
for the prosecution,
trials here are settled
with indictments on the charges
and all that hangs in the balance
is how sorry the defendant
is. How much remorse
does he hold in his heart?

If I were to be tried here
for my sins, I’d get off
with a light sentence,
because I am the sorriest
son of a bitch on Okinawa.

How sorry are you?

Image result for bishamon painting 
Bishamon [detail from Jūniten Byōbu] -- Shōga Takuma

1 comment:

  1. Bishamon is the armored god who is the guardian of the dharms (Buddhist law) and the punisher of evildoers. He was introduced to Japan in the 6th century as Tamonten ("listening to many teachings" because he is the guardian of the places where the Buddha preached), one of the Shitennō (Four Heavenly Kings Protecting the Four Directions), who quickly rose to great prominence in rites to safeguard the nation. Eventually, Tamonten became the object of an independent cult and supplanted the other three in importance. When worshipped independently, he is called Bishamon (Bishamonten, Bishamon Tennō, Tobatsu Bishamon). As a god of healing, he has the power to reward followers with riches, good fortune, and children. Around the 15th century, he was enlisted as one of Japan's Seven Lucky Gods owing to his association with treasure and wealth. He is identified with various other deities, including the Hindu god of wealth Kubera (Kuvera) and the goddess of wealth and beauty Kichijōten (his wife in Japanese Buddhist lore). His chief iconographic identification is a treasure pagoda (hōtō) he holds, representing the divine treasure house of Buddha's teachings and symbolically the container of the ashes, bones, nail clippings, hair, teeth, etc. of the Buddha's cremated body; he is both the protector of and dispenser of its bounty, since he shares it with only "the worthy."


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