Thursday, April 8, 2010

8/30 "Ninja Poem #1" by Gus Wood

In snow doused night air
you can only whisper it,
ancient word: ninja

The ancient dragon draws in its breath,
shakes the frozen twilight off its scales,
coils into the spiraled signature of a night destined to drip red,
fated to puddle into pink dawn full of screams, noisy curious footsteps
and the single, perfect, kill.

I paper-crane fold into the shadows,
Inhale the hundred ghost aromas floating up to the rooftops:
sweat, crushed herbs, the pungent sting of rice wine, thick blankets of lotus,
cherry-blossom, women.
I exhale, all doubt fading into the night, riding the cloud of frost-blessed wind,
Humming bird swift, Humming bird soft, Insect deadly,
I fall.

With noiseless perfect movement I am the shadows.
The air wraps me up in its arms, I move, side stepping the exact moment of a turned head,
a puzzled look, any tattered remnant of suspicion is met with sleight of hand,
a hand that never touches the steel of a blade.
The taking of life is an art form, a brushstroke.
A single drop out of place and the work is sloppy, unworthy.

I dance with snow,
every footstep a shadow cloaked arabesque until I see him.
This bloated devil kabuki masked in drunken laughter,
payed-for flesh clinging to him the way filth does.

The blade whispers.
Driven into him, the wound is a small dot lost in the folds of his decadence,
crying drops of blood slowly.
This is the thirty minute death, practiced often, the outcome is inevitable.
A brief kiss of tempered steel, a haiku breathless murder.

The blade pushes on
Humming bird silent as I
Melt into shadow.

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