Poetry by Mike Dillon

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 11:46 PM | Debbi Lester (Administrator)

Paul Horiuchi

Northwest Master – 1906-1999

In his new country, after long struggle,

after enough money finally trickled in,

the artist built a home on a Seattle hill

looking over Lake Washington

to the erect snows of Mount Rainier.

Mount Fuji, in his childhood world, 

rose beyond Lake Kawaguchi. He’d come full circle.

The Japanese have a word, natsukashii,

for a longing that runs deeper than mere nostalgia.

Immigrants and exiles of all times understand.

And so he made his life among natural affinities:

the intricacies of saltwater, rocky shores, misted pines. 

Salmon as sacred to the Puget Sound tribes as to the Ainu.

Kuroshio, the Japanese current, brushes the West Coast

where Basho is also at home.

Every year the now honored artist returned to Japan.

Near the end, in Seattle, he wondered aloud 

if he dreamed in Japanese. The boy who left home 

at fourteen had arrived at a borderless country

where there was only one lake. One mountain.                         


Mike Dillon

Indianola, Washington

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