Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sayuri-san


Behind bamboo wall 
She powders her cheeks white
As wooden clogs bound her feet 
How she dreams to be a bird
not a doll with cursed red lips 




Photography by Totomai Martinez






Photography by Totomai Martinez


What lies beneath your wintered eyes
Are you hiding a jewel, black as pain
From a hundred lashes of an errant word?  

What secrets guard your wide gold sleeves
when night comes spinning out of orbit?
Has bitterness tinged your blood to rust?

Here is the spark & grit of desire
Or would a venom of revenge be fair game?
Once, your laughter was raven’s delight
As you bargain with harvest moon for its tales-     

Rise & dispel this silence of ghostly chant –
This dearth of burning fire & biting moths-
Press your red lips against the stone
Unbound your robe & step into light   




Posted for D'verse poets Pub - We are writing to the muse of Totomai Martinez photography.   thanks for the visit ~


41 comments:

  1. oh i do hope that she manages to free herself from all the things that bind her... sometimes traditions - no matter how good they may are - can prevent us to live the life we dream of

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  2. I always do wonder what is behind & if in the depths of her soul there is joy; or if she feels trapped in the way things always were, not being able to have the courage to unbind her robe and step into the light.

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  3. i think i would hope not to be a doll as well...not a fun life as dolls only have the personality we give them....i like the freedom she finds there in the end as well...if only it were as easy as loosing the rope and stepping free....

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  4. Your poem reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha. I often wonder how they can keep such an expressionless face and you do wonder what lies behind what is offered for us to see.

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  5. I like how you've explored the shift between those two images Gabriella - a real sense of coming to life.

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  6. To be bound with those velvet chains - to be a living doll. How a doll could be the fancy of men.. And yes definitely reminds me of memoirs of a geisha..

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  7. Wow, excellent poem which encapsulates, illuminates the images. Your last stanza is killer. Your strong narrative running through the poetics is impressive, & your knowledge of geishas is impressive. I liked the line /has bitterness tinged your blood to rust?/

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  8. "what lies behind your wintered eyes?" what a gorgeous line that is! I love the wondering in this poem, about what lies within her shuttered gaze.

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  9. maybe a bird who could fly... a different kind of freedom here

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  10. perhaps the make up is one way of hiding their feelings? but i am fascinated watching maikos and geishas. lovely write kabayan.

    on a personal note, i used sayuri san an inspiration after a break up 😜

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  11. Excellent, Grace! This reminds me of the movie The Red Lantern in which the women are treated like possessions and the mask worn by the geishas covers so much emotions on the inside, at least this one does. I especially love the first two stanzas. Traditional makeup but also ancient rituals.

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  12. Beautiful lines here Grace. I think the questions are often asked by many women, from different traditions.

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  13. what lovely Grace! and I love the pictures, just beautiful !

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  14. Evocative writing... the suffocation of this jailed existence creates some powerful images. Thought-provoking and painful to imagine.
    -HA

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  15. Like Geisha's, I think at times in life we all have those unreal personas to break out of. Insightful, Grace. Made me think of "Memoirs of a Geisha."

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  16. Emotive and lovely - layered in its simplicity like plucked strings in a piece of Shamisen music.

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  17. Oh my! Wow! Just as I was beginning to imagine the makeup as protection from the outside, I had to visualize it as unwelcome binding and wish her free from it. You take us into the heart of the performer's truth, and so I imagine the robe does fall.

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  18. "How she dreams to be a bird / not a doll with cursed red lips"---for me, these lines embodies perfectly what a true Geisha is, Grace. You write this poem at its best & gave justice to the photos you've chosen to feature here. What a wonderful experience to me to be able to read this beautiful piece. thank you!

    - ksm

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  19. The power that dwells behind the beauty of this poem will never be silent. You have spun a powerful voice for the muted. Brava!

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  20. This is sad on many levels and I think you have captured her plight. Beautiful writing Grace.

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  21. powerful piece, and a reminder that paint may make us appear beautiful, but the true person is what is hiding behind the makeup...

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  22. Unbound and step into the light...let's hope she does one day!

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  23. I love the rich use of words here; I can almost imagine the jewel tip. I hope she can find her way...

    ~Prajakta

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  24. In the end all of the robes and masks come off, jewels are all found, and lashes all returned. Time has a way of changing porcelain to freedom.

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    Replies
    1. ... u can find really good used porcelain in Value Village ... smiles ... glad to see you around here ... purr ...

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  25. I always wear mascara and eye liner when in public ... except when I go out to by cigs ... sweat pants, hoodie, no bra, hair soaking wet with conditioner in it ... frumpy as can be ... and that's how I like it ...

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    1. ... buy ... omg, how I hate selling mistakes ... smiles.

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  26. A very powerful write here. I sincerely hopes she takes flight one day...

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  27. Oh I felt every word of this, I found myself wanting to break free of all that binds her.

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  28. I wouldn't want the strings of being a doll, that would sure be no fun at all

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  29. I've seen documentaries on Geishas - so many restrictions and rules - not a life I'd want anyone to live. They are like living dolls, still in the box as they don't have much freedom...

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  30. i echo, 'the walking man.

    really enjoy this, Grace. you captured a world many live in because they wish not to be exposed.

    gracias mi amiga. Grace-fully done

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  31. Emotionally intriguing Grace! I liked reading this poem because you've showed that it is good to take on the world with haste. There is so much out there to explore, and there is no use staying in a closet full of moth balls.

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  32. So very lovely, leaves me in a dream state. How true so a way for so many to hide their pain behind the beauty of their smile!

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  33. I've read a lot about the Geisha and have wondered also what hides behind the crimson lips and the facade. There seems to be something lonely in their painted smile. Beautiful write!

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  34. Beautiful, Grace. I especially like the lines "How she dreams to be a bird/ not a doll with cursed red lips". For me, this anchors the whole piece. :-)

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  35. Rather topical, these lines:'... black as pain
    From a hundred lashes of an errant word' and my personal favourite:
    'Has bitterness tinged your blood to rust?'
    Do you know that is exactly how I feel at the moment - it's a perfect, perfect description...

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  36. Exquisitely beautiful! I especially loved the first and last lines.

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