Jean Toyama (2013 Poem In Your Pocket)


by Jean Toyama

you are a bird, he said
still caged between my lungs

you’ll never fly, he said
i’ve sealed the space for good

so i pecked and i pecked
till my beak split in two

it was that splinter that


Lady In A Box (for Cora Yee)

by Jean Toyama

You didn’t bind my feet
but tethered other parts

Not with shackles
not with cords
but silken fish
spun round my breast
leaping high into the sky
where waves become rainbows

They fly, those fish,
lifting me moon bound
and in my flight I am more than ever tied
to you

Jean Toyama is a local author and poet. She is well known for her connected poetry, called renshi, and has published a book with three other poets called No Choice But to Follow. They have reunited in a new series of renshi poems in “Four Voices in Renshi: Revisiting the Massie Affair”. The entire serial can be read online at the Bamboo Ridge Press website.

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