Poems of the Week

Rising Sunset

by Julia Griffin

“After audience with the sun goddess, Japan’s emperor Akihito prepares to abdicate” 
—The Guardian

What did the Emperor say to the Sun Goddess?
No one else heard him so no one can tell;
No one else knows what ineffable languages
Passed in the grove as the long shadows fell.

All that we know is the words he expressed to us,
Standing before the Chrysanthemum Throne:
Prayers for a future serene and illustrious;
Prayers for us all, not one nation alone.

May we be granted a way to be happier;
May there be deities wishing us well!
What did the Sun Goddess say to the Emperor?
No one else heard her, so no one can tell.