Back in Kyoto,
and in the morning
plans to set out north
to Arashiyama
the old neighbourhood,
from there to carry on
to the surrounding
mountains
to Jo-jakko ji temple,
which in early autumn
would afford good views
east over Kyoto.

Before setting out,
recalled reaching
Jo-jakko ji
fifteen years earlier,
during that harsh winter
in now what seems like
another life.

The temple laid
rest by snow,
pristine emptiness,
pagodas competing
for whiteness,
steps of powder
which now stopped
me in my tracks;
the necessary need
of not returning
to Jo-jakko ji,
not now, not ever.