George Jisho

George JishoBIO

George Jisho Robertson is 79. He was first and always a teacher of literature and an advocate for children, becoming an innovative senior high principal in three schools. In 1990 he became a Zen priest. From 2008 he has lived in London, UK where he devotes his life to family, poetry, photographic art and creating a garden for a community of elderly folk.



breath of a fragile wing

a fragile wing

the haunting memory of grasses
their power of metamorphosis
drift of the wind-born seeds

breath of a fragile wing

and then sleep, the gathering,
a chrysalis tossed in the eye of the wind
dissolving tears and thorns and rocks

each in their native music
now heard upon awakening

swept by on the river of time
into the caverns and oceans of dark

glitter of frosty snow on cherry blossom
etching the outlines of fern leaf moss and oak

breath of a fragile wing


A falling leaf

A falling leaf

You’re asleep. Maybe in someone’s arms,
Maybe not, somewhere intimate, maybe not.
Never the less, I hold you in my breath.

There are stars up there, here and there,
Each burning itself out. That will happen, for sure.

I feel you turn in the turning of my breath,
Turning in sleep, the smell
Of warm skin and sleeping breath.

Sitting in the damp grass, my head on my knees,
Spine extending. I know nothing,
Understand nothing. I breathe out
To let you be
A silence I shall always hear.

Is this to be intimate? The question
Burns itself out. Silence whispers. Always.


unborn the cry
the unborn child is crying to be born

(the white owl circles, silently listening)

razor thin and piercing
the cry of the unborn child

one shudders in a grotesque storm of bullets
another pines away, emaciated
(death is thinning his passionate blood)
a third goes under the waters half glad to drown

the saint is pierced by incessant arrows of desire
words like leeches hang from every wound
black bloated and swelling

is there a way to know
the wound from the child
the child from the word

or shall we simply live the cry
cry after cry
arrow after arrow
wound upon wound
where every pore is a mouth