Poem ‘In the balance’

ivory netsuke

The inspiration for this poem came from a collection of netsuke I saw recently in the Victoria and Albert Museum London.   Because the Japanese costume has no pockets small everyday objects were carried in pouches or boxes suspended on a cord secreted behind the obi (belt).  The netsuke was tied to the other end to prevent slippage.  These little intricately carved objects act as weight.  They are works of art in themselves and very beautiful to look at as well as being practical.

I was struck by the way a netsuke could be used as a metaphor for life.  The balance, weight – even the threads all speak about life and our experiences.

Life in suspension: the weight of cares tugging at the threads, unravelling and crashing the graven image – shattering.  It inspired me to write something, a poem perhaps.  What could be more fitting than a Haiku.

In the Balance

Our pathways are carved

Life whittles, chips amd fashions,

It’s knife quick and sharp.


Hope flies suspended

Holding fast the silken cord-

Grasps the fraying thread

Weighed down by lifes cares

The binding cords unravel

Our love outweighs all.

© Lynda M Roberts 2010

I have wrote a post about netsukes over on Echostains here

5 thoughts on “Poem ‘In the balance’

  1. Thanks slpmartin! Inspiration seems to come from the most incongrous things sometimes. I suppose I should let the poetry speak for itself really…but I can’t help but aid it with a decorative crutch:) thanks for your encouragement and comments – they are always appreciated!

  2. The haiku structure is a great choice for the concept of balance, as if the 7 syllable action creates an overall harmony with the beginning and ending image/comment. My favorite is the final one due to the last line… “Our love outweighs all” That message resonates clear through life’s weight.

    1. Thanks Adam! It’s odd how inspiration strikes isn’t it? What we do with it and how we interpret this urge is even stranger sometimes:)
      I hadn’t thought about the 7 syllable action creating overall harmony Adam – brilliant thought! There is another poem in the making there – I feel it coming on! Thanks:)

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