A Break in the Mountains

I have only just returned from a long trip away from my native soil, and though it is decidedly un-Heian to travel abroad, that is what I just did. Heian-era Japanese became more and more isolated from the world. They no longer sent ambassadors to China and Korea, thought of India, the birthplace of Buddhism, as further away than the moon, and perhaps a place of myth, and did not invite foreign emissaries to the royal court at Heian Kyo. The isolation was such that the Chinese court the Japanese were imitating was that of several hundred years before. This would be the equivalent of Italians today imitating 18th century France. That’s right, weird.
No, people did not venture abroad. Rather, the main traveling that aristocrats of the time did would be to stay for a long time at various Buddhist monasteries, where they would grow spiritually through an austere existence, or simpley wait out the latest gossip about themselves. In that spirit, let’s imagine that rather than having gone on a cruise to Central America, I went took a break in the mountains at a monastery. In a Heian interpretation of said vacation, I have written haikus to impart the important details.
Oooh, iguana farm!
Dominant males rest in trees.
Yes, they are all loose.

Majestic toucan
observes me below and squawks.
I want some fruit loops.

Feeding Honduran
parrots fallen orange pieces.
They all love me now.

You look like Sharpay
from High School Musical 3,
Honduran child says.

Top of Altun Ha,
dense jungle all around me.
My legs still don’t hurt…

Mayan Calendar:
will the world end in three years?
See 2012.


Cozumel – clear springs
abound. This is the island
of fertility.

Mexican ponies:
so very tiny, and quite
ill-tempered as well!


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Filed under buddhism, china, poetry, travel

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