For Kenji

‘Tis legendary
not ordinary,
‘cross sea.
Firm friendship, nary
time’s adversary.
To be
older, not wary.
Smiles luminary,
esprit.

Inspired by my recent visit in Yokohama with Kenji Kojima. Photos of Kenji and I in our 1965 senior high school album. And a new photo of us taken together last week in Yokohama, Japan.

Kenji was an AFS exchange student from Japan during our 1965 senior year at Waukegan Township High School in Illinois. We had not seen each other since 1965! The years didn’t matter. The distance didn’t matter. The friendship held true and we enjoyed two wonderful hours together reminiscing, talking about our families and grandchildren. What an absolute privilege to see him again.

Poetry form is the Lai: 9 lines with the following syllabic and rhyming restrictions:

Line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
Line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
Line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
Line 7: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 9: 2 syllables, rhymes with b

10 thoughts on “For Kenji

  1. Kenji Kojima May 5, 2019 / 11:01 am

    Oh, what a privilege and honor to be dedicated of a poem like this, Lill!!! First time ever being inspired with such a preferential treatment. Thank you and long live our friendship!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy Jahnke May 6, 2019 / 6:51 am

    Heartwarming tribute to your friendship! Had not heard of the Lao, but truly love it! Keep writing…

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  3. whippetwisdom May 6, 2019 / 2:47 pm

    Such a wonderful friendship Lillian and what a blessing to see each other again 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. memadtwo May 7, 2019 / 12:13 pm

    This makes me smile.
    and I really like the varied line breaks in your lai. (K)

    Like

  5. sarahsouthwest May 8, 2019 / 4:08 pm

    That opening couplet is fabbily fab. I think this is a really hard form, but you’ve worked it well here. Great pictures, too. Old friends, eh?

    Like

  6. Frank Hubeny May 9, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    It is good that you were able to find each other again. Wonderful way to celebrate that friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Grace May 9, 2019 / 12:58 pm

    Terrific homage to your friendship. Loving the photos before and after – so precious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. msjadeli May 9, 2019 / 7:24 pm

    Exquisite lai in homage to friendship. “Friendship nary time’s adversary” ❤

    Like

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