Arashiyama Flood Rensaku


A rensaku is a longer poem by a single author comprising haiku-like stanzas, each containing a different poetic image. I was down at the Oi (Katsura) Riverside this morning seeing what could be done to help…

Her kitchen now coated
With dark river mud –
The anguish behind her smile

Tamba timber flotsam
Crumpled about the piers
Of Moon Crossing Bridge

For hours
It stood against the flood –
A Kyoto lamp post lowered

Here are the buckets
Here is the mud
Here comes Rob* …
And off we go!

Brother and sister
Bail mud from the shop –
Flash visit from the mayor

The mulligatawny river
Now slinking past
The ornate tearooms
It has fouled

* Rob Mangold, director of the disaster relief charity, IDRO , with whom I got stuck in for a while. The Saturday 21 Sep. PTO workday will be partly or entirely devoted to helping the clean-up by the river at Ogurayama’s foot if there is still something we can do. Otherwise, it will be path maintenance on the hill above. Dep. Saga-Arashiyama JR at 9:45.





6 Responses to “Arashiyama Flood Rensaku”

  1. Nice! I’ll be joining you on Saturday and probably tomorrow too if needed.

  2. When the mayor visited, there were 15 people in his entourage, including an NHK camera crew. I couldn’t get past them in the corridor to empty the bucket of ooze I was carrying.
    On the 7 o’clock news tonight I saw Rob for less than a second scooping up sludge as the mayor looked on.

  3. […] taking immersive 360 degree images with my new Ricoh Theta camera… However, inspired by Tito’s flood relief poetry, and Rob Mangold’s posts on Facebook I decided to join them and Joel Stewart for a spot of […]

  4. Love the flowing language and imagery in the last verse… from the river’s name, to the personification of it, and its deeds. This last verse gives me a strong sense of the place, and the event that affected it.

    I can only click on one of the four pictures for an enlarged view. No one got hurt?

    • Glad you got something from my sequence, Gerald. Thanks for your comment.
      No, no one hurt at Arashiyama as far as I heard, but I met a few who looked very shocked and crestfallen at all the damage to their shops and homes. I helped one family who had to move out. Today, things are more or less back to normal.
      Clicking photos is a haphazard business. Haven’t yet got the bottom of how to ensure they are all ‘clickable’.

  5. The once mighty “ramming” river is reduced to shamed “slinking”—and rightly so!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: