Autumn Poems

by Daryl Muranaka

Black Rabbit

Sitting in his green framed
warren, chicken wire and plastic
wrapped windows, does he
stare blankly into the garden
at the small brown brothers
nibbling at the vegetables
left to rot in the autumn cold?
Does he shift his bulk
and stare down his nose
at the riffraff without
room service that feeds him
and shifts his view every day?
Or does he dream as he sits
on his narrow perch
flattened against the low ceiling
of running, running, running
his suburban belly away?


Suburbia Part II

I look at my car—a crossover—
big and silver. It screams
middle aged. When did this
For years, no car, walking
day in and day out, past
empty shops that blinked
with life, then vanished,
walking along sidewalks
cracked, then carpeted
in wet brown leaves,
then sealed in ice, snow.
Those years weren’t
so long ago, right?
When did I
become too old
to dive right in?
When did all this
maturity begin?



Each morning—with babies
in the head—we plot
the numbers that climb
and fall—starting
and never stopping—
on the temperature chart.
She carefully sings
the beaded notes
to lighten the load
of the wait
of babies in the head.


The Endless Tract of Time

I live. I choose
from an ever-shrinking menu
at the bottom of the page
of days that keep flipping.
I choose my own adventures.
But once upon a time, I had
more choice that I could imagine,
made by the tiny choices
of fathers and mothers
who really had no choice at all,
how each small act of resistance
planted another kernel,
bulbous, in the ground.
I was lucky. I was blessed.
And so they watch from the void,
what will I do for the kodomo
no tame ni? Will I drive my spear
into the waters, murky and thick,
and draw up islands
from the blood of the earth?
Will I make what they aren’t
making more of? Choices for all.
Choices where none
existed. Or will I sit back
and choose the ever-shrinking menu?


On The Bus

On the bus I smell
the people, their days,
their hours, trapped within
a metal capsule.
The man in front
chew, chew, chews
on bread laced with
the odor of sour
fast-food lettuce,
of booze sweat.
Next to me is a woman
that I do not look at,
that I cannot smell,
but I hear that crisp
click clicking
and know it’s Autumn
by the apple that she chews.


Daryl Muranaka spent three years in Fukui, Japan in the JET Program. He lives in Boston with his family. In his spare time, he enjoys aikido and taijiquan and exploring his children’s dual heritages. His first book, Hanami, was published by Aldrich Press and his first chapbook, The Minstrel of Belmont, was published Finishing Line Press in 2015.