He crafts his work from cypress and hemp
turning each limb with the skill of
an ancient chisel handed on by his father.
also known as Tenguhisa the puppet-maker.
When the kabuki curtain lifts the figures spring
to life: the naked feet of the outcast maiko
are walking to Kochi, the eyebrows
of the shõgun are rising in disdain.
Inside each rigid chest the heart-space
is a void. They have no words and yet
we watch in silent tears, their legends
passed on by invisible hands.
kabuki – classical Japanese dance-drama
maiko – dance child (geisha in training)
shõgun – emperor
Hilary Hares has an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Manchester Metropolitan University. She lives in Farnham, Surrey and her poems have found homes online and in print including Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House and Magma. Her collection, A Butterfly Lands on the Moon is sold on behalf of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care.