Tuesday, October 8, 2013


According to Japanese legend, foxes only wed on a day when the sun shines while it’s raining.
                      From a  Wikipedia article

The wild fox

fussed, combing her russet hair

with a broken root

and looked at herself in the lake.

She thought

what a beautiful bride

she would make – and threw

away her grooming tool,

a remnant

of the green willow. Crickets

had promised

they would arrange

for rain the next day

mixed with sun.

And so she invited

a village girl

to dine with her

in the forest den.

A young artist

known for her skill

and idyllic sketch,

who had disclosed

that art was her soul,

the rush in her blood,

her breath.

The sly fox did not say

it would be

her wedding day

when humans

were forbidden

to view such blessed feasts.

And if such

an offense

should occur,

the animals became

furious, demanding

the offender give

his  or her  life

for absolution.

For the sacred

song and cloth

that would cleanse

their family of disgrace.

The cool fox

longed to absorb

the girl’s spirit

and taste the spill

of virgin blood

as the penitent

pierced  her heart

with a silver knife.

Then she would become

this  red-haired

huntress from the wood

 who dipped

the marsh reed

into ink

and drew

magic scenes

on rice paper.

Who left her husband

curled in sleep

and slipped into lines

of sky and water

grass and trees

wings and fins

palms and heels.

Everything the mind

could map and conjure.

The vain fox

looked again

at herself in the lake

and saw a vision

of tomorrow.

There was no rain

but a few clouds

and the blackness

of a veiled shadow

she feared. The dark fate

had come for her

not the girl

at the  work bench

with her slim stick

and white bowl

shining pale

as the sun 

caught in a seine of showers.
Notes -- Kitsune in Japanese folklore is a fox spirit. The female is very clever, manipulative and sly, often with vixen like motives. Foxes always marry on days when sunshine is mixed with rain. This is very important to the secrecy and sacred nature of the nuptials. Invasion by a human presence is considered a grave insult, an offense.

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