(Wikimedia C Commons; photo by
KENPEI, Aug, 2010)
Where the turtle bathed
beneath the waterfall shrine,
makers of miso,
sake, pray for a blessing:
Kinpaku’s gold* gives them hope.
- a drink with gold flakes in it.
I understand that there are three levels of shrines:
Upper/ First Rank : 7 examples
Middle : 7
Lower : 7 (plus 1)
I am going to go through each shrine and try to write a boussokusekika
for each. 5,7,5,7,7,7 syllable pattern.
(Photo by N yotarou, 2008)
here is your Sacred Mirror;
it reflects the truth:
though damaged by fire, its ash
was used to make it anew.
The goddess Amaterasu emerging from a cave.
(All images are from Hokusai’s series of ‘Poems Explained by a Wet Nurse.’
The woodcuts were taken from Visipix.com’s site. The poems are my own.
The series was incomplete, so there are not quite 100. I shall post on ten
sites, to break them up.)
I’ll leave the island.
Abalone girls may dive,
but I’m going home.
Virgin daughters dance.
I wish we could trap angels
and de-flower them.
First love was a spring:
then a waterfall; torrent…
now a deep rock pool.
Sometimes love is like
the complicated pattern
on kimono cloth.
No 15 or 16
In Tatta’s blue stream,
red Maple leaves look just like
roosters’ talon prints.
we sail through Sumi Bay. Waves
rock us on the deck.
Such a tiny thing!
How could this reed build a house?
What can our love do?
In Naniwa Bay,
I hope that you will meet me,
though I risk my life.
Act of Attainder, Assizes, Cain, Chief justice, Colchester oysters, Dame Alice Lisle, Ellingham, equivocation, Great Hall Winchester, John Hickes, Judas, Judge Jeffreys, Kings Bench, Machiavelli, Milk human kindness, Monmouth Rebellion, Moyles Court, Nelthorpe, Nero, Presbyterian, Satan, The Eclipse, The Rising Sunne, The Tower, treason, Wapping, Whigs, Winchester
A re-blog from August, 2013
THE EQUIVOCATION OF THE FIEND
Maybe a writ of Habeas Corpus will liberate me from my confinement
and then I can steal away from this loathsome Tower and gain passage
abroad, but there is no Court competent to assist me in this wise and now
I am fast losing strength. I am supposed to be thankful for the protection
I have, while the country demands that a retrospective Act of Attainder
should result in my condemnation for multitudinous murders.
The wheel has come full circle. A mob had congregated outside my
house in Duke Street and mocked the bills which announced the sale of
my property. Women screamed, offering me their garters that I should
hang myself thereby and men raged, advising me to cut my own throat.
I downed another bottle of brandy and shut out their clamour.
However, I seemed to have one remaining friend – someone who knew of
my predilection for Colchester oysters. A barrel had been left for me at
the Tower and I burst its bands eagerly. Inside there was naught but
shells and a halter. I apprehended its hint. The delivery youth jeered:
“Canst tell how an oyster makes its shell?”
He is not so dim as he looks.
Imagine: Chief Justice of the King’s Bench at thirty five and Lord
Chancellor before my fortieth birthday. I followed orders and to this
attribute my rapid promotion and even more sudden declension.I had
another birthday recently and there was none to exercise common
charity towards me, or to share a celebration. I stand accused of a
lack of the milk of human kindness.
I will never be permitted to forget the trial of Dame Alice Lisle. In
contrast, she was deemed to have shown exemplary, even saintly,
compassion and hospitality towards distressed fugitives, but there was
considerably more to the case than was imputed.
I was compared unfavourably to Nero, Satan, Cain and Judas, but I only
sent Whigs to Heaven. It was common practice to lash rogues with the
tongue and, after all, I cross-examined some of the deepest-dyed
criminals in the land. Their weeping and cries for mercy only served as
an irritant. How difficult it was to extract the truth from Presbyterian
liars and I grew adept at smelling one out at forty miles, hence the posy of
herbs that I was wont to hold to my nostrils. Severities may be properly
used, I believe, in common with Machiavelli, if they are appropriate with
Yes, Dame Alice, I turned a deaf ear to your plea and you could not hear
the foreman’s delivery of the verdict, by virtue of your three score years
and ten’s infirmity.
A witch, I thought, whose husband had been a regicide and now the old
crone was denying knowledge of the nature of the indictments against
John Hickes and Nelthorpe, initially denying their presence in her house,
Moyles Court. Subsequently she pleaded that she had understood Hickes’
offence to be merely illegal preaching. She stressed that she had no
sympathy with the Monmouth rebellion, but I persuaded the jury to re-
consider their verdict and, on the third occasion, she was pronounced
guilty, and rightly so, for the Law recognised no distinction between
principals and accessories to treason. “Let the old witch burn,” I ranted,
“and let it be this very afternoon!”
The interfering Winchester clergy appealed to me on account of her age
and sex and they gained a respite. Our Sovereign commuted the sentence
to beheading, out of his merciful bounteousness.
Now the populace desire that I should shere her fate. I am eclipsed- ha!-
a play on the title of the marketplace inn where she spent her final night,
before walking out of the first storey window, onto the scaffold. They
said it was ever after “The Eclipse” as it drew all attention from its
neighbouring public house: “The Rising Sunne.”
Barter gave us the information. She had entertained, concealed,
comforted and maintained the fugitive rebels. The Devil had inspired her
to quibble, as do all witches. Equivocation is the nature of the Fiend and
all his subjects. I have oft-times heard his whine in the courtrooms
and the serpent-tongued dame tried to move me by a reminder that she had
bred a brat to fight for James, but, if she had been my own mother, I should
have found her guilty, notwithstanding her prevarication that she was being
charged with sheltering Hickes before he was convicted of treason She stated
that subsequent evidence should not be admitted, since it had not been
Very clever: but anyone who harbours a traitor is as guilty as any who
bears arms, I believed, and I hold fast to the same conviction to this day.
“Nay, peace thou monster, shame unto thy sex,
Thou fiend in likeness of a human creature.
SEe thyself, devil!
Proper deformity shows not in the fiend
So horrid as in woman.
Shut your mouth, dame,
Or with this paper shall I stople it.”
The reference was lost on most in court. Fools do those villains pity who
are punished. Know this: that men are as the time is; to be tender-
minded does not become a sword.
It is more than three years since that fateful day in August in The Great
Hall of Winchester Castle. Some say that a lady in grey haunts the inn
and that a driver-less coach has been seen in the grounds of her Ringwood
estate, drawn by headless horses and containing her phantom.
What is that nonsense to me? Her head and body were given up to her
family, for burial at Ellingham and now the Whigs have all but canonised
her, raving about judicial murder.
Yet, when I attempted to escape from this hell-hle, no one would shelter
me in a cupboard, nor a malthouse and I was discovered at Wapping and
my disguise removed. No port is free to me; no place that unusual
vigilance will not attend my taking. So, here I lie, and suffer the
agony of passing these stones: a pain as sharp as the gravel of her drive,
but still I resort to my brandy. I am bound upon my own wheel of fire.
My reins are rubbed with sulphurous flames. The gods are just and of
our pleasant vices… I waken to hear myself cry in the night and then a
distant rumble of carriage wheels approaches, or is it a more horrific
apocalyptic explosion? Who is it that dare tell me who I am?
“What is that wailing?” I shout to my guard.
“It is the cry of women, my good lord,” he replies through the grille, most
caustically. “Come here most learned justicer.” And then he laughs,
showing black tombstones in place of teeth.
“I have almost forgot the taste of fears. I have supp’d full of horrors,”
I answer, before I recall the context. How malicious is my fortune that
I must repent to be just.
Equivocation – the only means of survival. She was more skilled in its employ
(The grave of Judge Jeffreys was bombed by German aircraft during the war
and his remains scattered. The grave of Alice Lisle can still be visited in
you achieved divine status,
enshrined in Shiga.
Kisen – Buddhist monk
in Ujiyama Province-
your poems were sublime.
The Lord of Dewa’s daughter,
Bright dewdrops flash as
Bunya no Asayasu
breasts the Autumn breeze.
Henjo, an eighth son,
mourned his emperor father,
In The Tales of Ise,
(Cranach the Elder: Uffizi- Adam and Eve)
In the hortus clausus of Paradise,
Adam and Eve were naked, without shame;
partook of luscious fruits’ delectation
and yet, both were subject to temptation
and yielded. God then issued His calm denunciation:
expelled, they entered a marred Creation.
They wanted to be lords of Creation;
were not content to live in Paradise.
Adam, quick in his denunciation
of his wife and, both wearing leaves of shame,
blamed the wily serpent for temptation.
Forbidden knowledge was delectation.
And, oh the price of that delectation:
to have usurped the Lord of Creation!
Over-weening hearts, prey to temptation,
caused them to exchange Earthly Paradise
for lives of labour, childbirth pain and shame
and inter-gender denunciation.
Lest we jump to denunciation
of the Almighty, His delectation
in His creatures was His aim. Death and shame
were never endgames in His Creation.
But how could there be sin in Paradise?
Free will left them open to temptation.
Yes, automata feel no temptation:
adoration, or denunciation
of God both possible in Paradise.
Disobedience was their delectation;
they wanted to be Lords of Creation,
yet, till their eyes were opened, felt no shame.
Do we repeat the arrogance and shame
in excusing ourselves our temptation?
Have we now lost Free Will? Does Creation
struggle under God’s denunciation?
There was One, Who said His delectation
was to obey and He left Paradise.
We, His new creation; delectation!
Conquering shame, temptation, He opened,
Paradise; cancelled denunciation.
Abbot, Adam of Eynsham, Archbishop of Canterbury, Baldwin, Benedictine Rule, Bishop of Salisbury, Blessed Souls, chain of being, Charismatic Renewal, Compline, corporal punishment, Easter, Edmund of Eynsham, election, Geoffrey of Eynsham, Good Friday, hallucinatory drug, Holy week, Joscelin, Lent, Matins, nepotism, Osney, Oxfordshire, Paradise, Purgatory, quinsy, Rapture, Saladin, sanctification, Sanctus, St Lawrence, St Nicholas, Sub-Abbot, vanitas
Vision of Edmund of Eynsham
Adam – now there’s a fine symbolic name
for a Sub-Abbot, but it is not he
of whom we wish to write. No, the fame
belongs entirely to his brother: Edmund. He
is the one whose ‘deathbed’ revelation
showed him Paradise and Purgatory.
Taken by the hand of St Nicholas,
he saw the penalties of Vanitas.
We are in twelfth century Oxfordshire,
but the application is for us too,
though believers in Rapture are fewer.
Nowadays it would be put down to ‘flu,
a fever, or hallucinatory drug.
Out-of-body experiences – who
would credit them with the spiritual?
Movements like Charismatic Renewal?
Imbibing only some tepid water,
for fifteen months, Edmund lay, very weak;
his quinsy made him hotter and hotter.
As Easter approached, he commenced to speak
and, with the help of a supporting stick,
he wanted to celebrate Holy Week
in the monastery chapel. Brothers
claimed he remained longer than the others.
From midnight until noon on the next day,
he confessed all his sins and lamented.
The following night, he began to pray
and lay on the ground, as if demented.
Adam had cold water splashed over him.
He thought Edmund had simply invented
this behaviour to gain some attention –
thus he wanted to defuse the tension.
How Edmund arrived there, without some aid,
was a point to be considered (but post-
Good Friday.) Yes, though fresh blood was displayed
on the cross, the monks felt the Holy Ghost
was not behind Edmund’s troubling conduct.
Maybe he wanted discipline, to boast,
boost spiritual pride. He’d asked for penance,
but was too weak for simple observance.
Through Good Friday evening, the next day,
water dribbled from his lips, till sunset.
They thought he was returning to the clay,
for he made no response and didn’t fret
when pricked. They blew a horn in his ear,
but he did not stir – at least, not yet –
till Compline, when his eyes opened. He sighed
and ‘Sancta Maria‘ many times cried.
He had begged for corporal punishment
and he kept on sobbing into his hands,
while compelling everyone to repent.
One of his more unusual demands
was to have a silver cross brought to him.
No one to this day really understands
why he was agitated; in this state:
raving like some kind of inebriate.
On Saturday evening, he ate some bread.
Miraculously, he went, unaided,
to Matins, where he bowed his tonsured head
and the cross and relics venerated.
The Prior and Sub-Prior heard him confess,
till no omission had been evaded
and he received the Sacrament as well,
to the ring of the credence Sanctus bell.
He then shared his dream, which began in Lent:
how a man had stood beside him, who said
that the prayers of a Godstow postulant
should join with his and be intermingled.
Then, roused to consciousness, he kissed the cross,
penitent for time he had spent in bed.
Entering the chapel of St Lawrence
and All Martyrs, he bowed in obesiance.
He begged Adam for further punishment
and bathed his eyes in blood and swallowed it.
He was birched further and did not give vent
to spleen; nor did he ask for a remit.
Adam denied the Benedictine Rule
condoned this practice. He felt its ambit
was for daylight hours, but, apparently,
St Nicholas had amended the decree.
Edmund saw souls flogged and bound together,
but they still had a hope of salvation.
You could have knocked him down with a feather
when he saw, in the throes of purgation,
(previous Abbot) Geoffrey of Eynsham,
negligent in his organisation,
though he’d been in charge for forty four years,
now past nepotism induced his tears.
The Bishop of Salisbury – Joscelin –
committed sexual immorality
and, as for the dire dealings of Baldwin,
he had tinkered with criminality:
unwise Archbishop of Canterbury.
(Most preferred Saladin’s mentality.)
Much given to Chapter disputation,
Baldwin funded Crusades through taxation.
In the next place to which Edmund was led,
he smelled a vile pond and climbed a steep hill:
souls were burned on one side and they perished
with cold conversely. A rotating grill
principle moved them from one location
to the other, like ants from an anthill.
To see a goldsmith from Osney- a drunk-
being purged here did not surprise the monk.
The third realm was a place of snakes, devils –
reserved for the homosexual.
A lawyer was suffering for evils
and monks too were punished by gradual
degrees. Unchaste churchmen who had blasphemed
(so nothing much there far from the usual)
by dispensing holy things with foul hand,
epitomising the wrongs in England.
Those who had been successful in the world
endured more than those of a low degree.
Regions of Paradise were then unfurled
to Nicholas, Edmund: a panoply
of Blessed Souls, who approached a huge gate
set in a wall of crystal – so shiny
that, blinded, he scarcely saw the entrance
of those receiving their inheritance.
Edmund then saw Jesus Christ on a throne,
but, at this point, his guide made him return
and yet he sensed that there were those who’d flown
to higher realms and who with joy would burn.
They exuded Light Inaccessible,
but he was not yet ready to discern
the joys of one who finished his course –
his sanctification was yet perforce.
This vision showed him a chain of being,
linking angels and the perfected souls,
descending from God, who is all-seeing,
to those who’ve just embraced heavenly goals.
Necessary purging of perception
allots individuals specific roles.
Adam wrote this down for our perfection:
Verify your calling and election.