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Nissaka by William Doreski

My favorite scenery, abrupt

and shaded, the trail wrestling

past the Night-Weeping Stone.

This marks the spot where bandits

killed a pregnant woman, spilling


her blood on the stone. It weeps

every night in her memory.

The goddess Kannon in priestly

guise rescued the unborn child,

who later avenged the murder.


I don’t want to linger after dark

and hear that ghostly sorrow,

but I like the scenery and legend

and the trail sloping so abruptly

I almost have to crawl on all fours.


William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent book is A Black River, A Dark Fall.

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