The rain trickles slowly
down the deep green and gray
roof tiles, drips slowly
from the tangle of wires
and antennae, onto
the narrow streets and alleys
where bicycles lean
against doorways, barely
avoided by cars passing quickly.
The sky is the gray
of countless ships
in the nearby harbor,
a monochromatic world
broken only by bank signs,
the paper lanterns waving
outside the restaurant
and an endless procession
of Suntory and Coke
vending machines –
perpetual sentinels,
dispassionate observers.
Businessmen, struggling to maintain
balance, juggle briefcases
and umbrellas as they weave
their bikes through
the undulating flow of pedestrians,
the din of traffic
broken by the giggles
of school girls
walking hand in hand.
It is a gray morning
in Osaka, but in Shitennō-ji
the Buddha does not notice,|
does not care, just smiles.

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