My Corner Windows

is a Hiroshige scene…

Photo by Pixabay on

My corner windows
where I watch the world
I see you
but you can’t see me
the world is a Hiroshige scene

My corner windows
where I view my scented garden
grow and thrive
Inhale gratitude
Exhale peace

I’m the fool on the hill
who knows the world
is not safe anymore
my childhood playground
torn down and gone.

No more playing
hide and seek on urban streets
amber alerts
bullets fly through our homes
schools churches malls — massacred.

Our children
what is your future
you do not deserve
the fate of our mistakes
I cry I pray I negotiate.

There’s always hope
I heard someone say
–I hope someday
that a smile is not an invitation
and children can play in the sun.

Genie Nakano, revised January 1, 2022,
original, published in Rafu Shimpo–July 18, 2019

I cry, I pray, I negotiate.

catch a moment…

I want
to be nobody for now
watch the sky
turn colors
while sipping tea

then somebody
pops in again
and screams for more
haven’t got much time left
gotta gotta gotta

what’s the hurry
let the breeze catch me

pieces of my mind
the wind echos


Genie Nakano, December 4, 2021, revised

My hands: photo by mark


Money money money
How much do you make
How much do you take
beads, sugar and spices
let’s trade with good will

Ask a person
how much money do you make
it’s unpresidential
or “how old are you”
impolite–crude and crass

My income–
Retirement–450 dollars a month
Social Security
It’s all so boring and petty
I’m 73 and moving up

A billionaire friend of mine
asked what’s this issue about money
can we travel
on higher ground and–
don’t let your dog poop on my lawn

It’s only money
lying, dying, crying
a paper moon
let’s stir a melting pot

A stranger came to town
claiming he could make stew
from a rusty nail
(a childhood story I recall)
then everyone pitched in…

Onions, garlic, scallions from one
potatoes from another
one small carrot
wild herbs growing on the grounds
green beans, red beans, black beans, soy beans
yams, sweet potatoes, dried persimmons,
nasubi, daikon, mushrooms,
vintage bottles of sake
on and on and on
And then…

Endo San played taiko, Kamiya San played sanshin
the full moon grew brighter, fuller,
the singing, dancing, laughter grew bolder
the sky ripped wide open,
And then…

Photo by Chait Goli on


Photo: by genie nakano of genie nakano, 11.15.21

I was born
with two strikes
against me
Asian and…
my mother didn’t like me

I wanted
to be golden
wear a curly
blonde crown of
 Shirley Temple locks

Into my teens
I streamed, oye
orale pues orale pues
I poemed my story
right on write on

became my call
I danced the moves
wore the hats
and sang off key

Now at 73
a hybrid a tribrid a unitard
something in between
a floating world
I was, will be, I am

genie Nakano,

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