Bussokusekika – Night (Without An Echo)

A slow ticking clock

Watching daylight pale away

Without an echo

Night falls like a silken veil

The lark sings out sorrowful

Cold moonlight falls to the ground

© Ann Bagnall

Bussokusekika (Buddha Footprint poem) is a rare form of Japanese poetry that consists of six lines written in a 5-7-5-7-7-7 mora pattern. Arising during the Nara period, the form had essentially died out by the Heian period. For centuries, the only existing examples were the twenty-one poems inscribed beside the stone Buddha Foot monument at Yakushi Temple in Nara, Japan, by an unknown author around 753 CE.

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