Hokusai: The Sketchbooks

Figures spread-eagled, helter-skelter,
skip-dancing across the pages,
traipse like gremlins
across the rim of my japonified tea cup.
And look! there is one, smiling,
laughing, peeking up at me from the bubbles,
stirring his pot with a whiskery broom,
winking all the while, as if in collusion,
just to share the delightful.
And there, on the side, where notes are scribbled,
they straddle the letters, balancing precariously,
word as props for their shenanigans,
poking poles boring holes into another,
less serious, universe,
where they fish ( O so successfully!)
for beauty.
Here is the Man
for whom mountains are red,
and whose tigers, though wicked,
and would eat you in a moment,
are sincerely friendly.