Category Archives: IroIro

Member related art, essays, links and other assorted media



…in the dojo(98)…


First Poem of 2015…

…from Jolene Starr

The word: Fuselage

We walked around the fuselage
This inspection, the second time in one day mandated
by the unusual circumstances

I with my handsome, lean, sandy-haired instructor
He about 25, me just 19
Flying low over California rice fields
laughing and joking, my first tail-dragger lesson

A loud CRAAACK, like a gunshot
(or at least that’s what I imagined)
Then sparks and smoke pouring from the engine
streaming past the cockpit window

Emergency landing, I said firmly,
with just a hint of question in my voice
Yep, he replied, exuding calm confidence,
like any pilot worth his wings

I glanced around, I’ll set her down there,
I said gesturing toward a dirt path
that ran between two rice fields
looks good to me, he said.

I lined her up perfectly, but a little too high
Here, he said, I’ll just take the controls for a minute
We need to slip down a little

Applying left rudder and right aileron expertly
we dropped rapidly,
like a goose coming in for a landing on a placid lake

She’s all yours, he said.

I landed hard, bumped and came down
a little more gently for the “second landing”
Off-center on the rough dirt path,
rutted and over gown with weeds

We veered sharply to the left off my impromptu runway
Made a tight circle,
the cockpit window on my side,
nearly brushing the left-over rice stubble,
bumping over rutted earth

I gulped a big breath,
waiting for the plane to turn over
roll-over into an early grave,
sure that the wings would be snapped off.

Then we were upright, intact,
nothing damaged at all
(other than whatever was making
the immense amount of smoke that had forced the landing)

He clambered out, I followed immediately
Then we stood together,
a respectful distance from our ailing craft,
waiting for an explosion that never came

Good landing, he said,
ever the supportive, upbeat instructor
Yep, I said. Any landing
we can walk away from is a good landing

The smoke died down, she stood there calmly, waiting
We approached cautiously,
examining, what was wrong,
why had we been forced into this desolate rice field?

A simple matter of integrity, a broken bolt, snapped off
The engine cowling loose, temporarily flapping in the wind
Metal on metal creating sparks and smoke
not a true emergency, but then, who knew?

We walked around the fuselage, inspecting
Had anything been damaged in the rough landing?
No, everything else was fine

We got back in the plane
I started the engine, applied a good amount of throttle
(she needed energy to climb over that rutted ground)

I guided her back onto our dirt path
We took off, flying into the still, hot California air
Shaken. But what an adventure. Something to tell

The folks back home,
and decades later, my grandchildren.

- See more at:

Rebeca’s latest CD, Mostecelo, is…

mostecelo2 here …and a preview of the upcoming here!

…peace pole!!!…


…on preparing to travel – with kasa and zori…

Basho is leaving -
and after his death,
the years have no end…

- – - Buson

…polishing stone…

…kenjutsu…in the park (7)…

…hops drying…


…glowing gate!!!…