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Lori Anderson Moseman


Listen to Lori Anderson Moseman this poem:

Carrying a Canoe to Mt. Koya

It is a two-legged task
even if I only imagine
such a journey. Paddles tucked
overhead in the upturned
hull—folded wings.
Egrets part snow
in ways we never see.

Next foot | next foot.
Each foot kept in line
by the train’s rails.
We bring too much.
Still, the temple
hostel monks serve
tofu, radish, tea.

     the new year seven days old


Workmen chip ice.
It is a three-legged task:
blunt blade on a pole 
drumming a dry path
under ancient cedars.
Paper prayer wedged
in bark. Jizo in trunk’s

Next stone | next stone.
It is the year of the dog:
ours bit off the head
of a Kannon we keep
in a open burl—scar
in an ancient cherry
on the riverbank back home.

     most  pilgrims return to work

hollow. Not yet canoe.
What I did carry is a camera.
What it carries I am not
sure. Prayer? A space
to revisit. Jizos all ice.
One-handed task: ladle splash.
Wash mouth. Launch boat.

Pause. Next. Pause. Next.
Shutter. Utter. What I offered
then, I do not know.
Now, I offer these suicides:
A’s brother, B’s brother,
J’s mother, E’s daughter,
J’s uncle, my great aunt

     great uncle great grandfather

We enter the graveyard
carrying our own ancients
collecting images to will
transport for the living
at risk. Who will wander
our way in need of maroon?
Incense. Ink. Paper.

Is image the path?
Synapse. Snap of a branch.
I will come again. Again.
Snowmelt sliding off a roof.
To enter orange. A temple
vibrating. Bronze gesture.
Safety for survivors. For S.



Lori Anderson Moseman curates the High Watermark Salo[o]n, a chapbook series she created after Federal Disaster #1649, a Delaware River flood. She also founded Stockport Flats, a press. Her poetry collections are Walking the Dead (Heaven Bone), Cultivating Excess (The Eighth Mountain Press), and Persona (Swank Books).

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The second voice in the reading of this poem is Tom Moseman, Lori Anderson Moseman's co-producer of the High Watermark
and co-publisher of Stockport Flats Press.


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