Poem and Sonnets by Ken Yoshikawa
The Struggle for Enough
A graveyard is a quiet place, so says the dust & cottonwood fluffs, the crows & age-wise butterflies.
Beneath the sunshine & the traffic & the birds:
the dead have not the noise of doubt that I do.
How much do you want to bet the party there is wild?
Tis not by accident we speak our lines
But by commitment to a plan: a sail
That flies us ‘yond the doubt - by its designs
Demands we tie our ropes with trust, to scale
The mast despite our fears, and in the sight
Of all horizons rig with practised hands
Our tapestry of words. Work then is light,
Is play, to render here exotic lands,
Make old the younger, new the old, spell cast:
Mysterious the obvious becomes.
Once caught, the faithful winds of minds outlast -
In memory - the tabors & the drums.
With them on purpose heal our bitter sores,
While words deliver us to distant shores.
Through days I struggle to believe the voice
That says “my dear you’re worth the good o’world”.
Sarcastic paste for thoughts, contempt for choice,
I reach not out but watch my love be curled.
There stuck in games of pride & vanity
I mewl pathetic quiet; such a fool,
For here come you to slap my sanity
With gentle space where I undo thoughts cruel
With rigorous play. We of the stage are made
And live between straight nothing & a dream:
So we together truth & treasure trade
To feed our state with love & fire as team.
Your passion for my ills is kind relief
For when we start the play so ends my grief.
It is alone I work my heart to rest
Fill gaps that gatewise laid my gold to knaves.
Fair love unfair ran wild the crapshoot test
Now wild & spent drives recompense from paves.
The ground is deep - Lake Mirror swift - where down
Beneath concrete & rubber lights my stone.
‘Li find it idle driven town to town,
Or ‘nesthetized by voice of thumb & phone?
I condescend myself if I don’t trust
My faults as road map, give the flight its wings
To dip in shadows, loose the sighs of dust
And go unbridled loud while silence sings
My harmony. I’m here. My hook is calm.
The verse is strong. My chorus’ stone in palm.
Ken Yoshikawa is a half-Japanese, quarter Italian, quarter Irish actor and spoken word poet from Portland, OR. He received his B.A in Theatre Arts from Reed College. A big fan of ensembles and Shakespeare, he has recently been into writing sonnets for fellow theatre artists. He likes spinach and soft cheese, chocolate and tea, spicy eggs and astrology. You can find him walking in parks while memorizing his lines, or eating tacos at any of the many Portland food cart pods.