There are Two Rivers in Kawaramachi – Poetry by Dante Gray

Shibata Zeshin – Poem and Falling Cherry Petals

Downtown Kyoto hosts
hosts in nightlife back-alleys.
They chase giggling gaggles
while drunks lay their cheeks
on coarse, dirty cobblestone—
a Friday night custom.

Still, in this kitsch river
one follows the signs,
the footprints left through stone loams—
nigh two millennia
imprinted in culture—
ancient and modern, hand in

hand. Generations have roamed—
undercurrents unseen—
this restless river
for furtive generations.
The other, the Kamo,
is great with a beer on cool summer nights.

About the Poet

Dante Gray is an English teacher currently working in Kyoto, Japan. They received their degree in English Literature and Language at Tennessee Technological University in 2019, and their work was published in the university’s literary journal, The Iris Review.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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