Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

John Samuel Tieman: What She Meant

Donna Vail died last night.
I haven’t heard from her for over
forty years. In fact forty-four

years ago, when we were young
Buddhists and at that temple,
Taiseki-ji at Mount Fuji,

I went for a long walk one day
with Donna Vail. We happened
on the Five Storied Pagoda.

I’ve since traveled the world.
Yet when I think Japan, I first
think Donna Vail beside a pagoda.

What are the years if not a language?
I still listen for what she meant.
I’ve long forgotten what she said.

Copyright 2017 John Samuel Tieman



The Five-Storied Pagoda in Taiseki-ji

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This entry was posted on May 17, 2017 by in Poetry and tagged , .
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