Japanese Villa

This old villa, long abandoned,

ringed by a crumbling wall,

unkempt trees pushing out,

bursting the seems

of the respectable street,

defiantly shows its rags, its decay.

It’s already given up

the mad business of getting on

and surrendered to

the fearless grasses

that reclaim the lost time

and the nights of the drunken moon.

The world spins on and on

around it

like a hurt animal

licking over its wounds,

villages, towns, cities,

itch upon itch,

the beat men reeling in the gutters

and the multiplied fevers.

But the villa just takes

all that clamour to be something

deep into the wide leaves

of the banana tree,

the long buried stepping stones,

the slipping tiles,

the strangled gutters,

and sends out the cicadas’ song

louder than anything you’ve heard.


Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014


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