Andrew Soye

To my father’s fountain pen

Andrew Soye

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It is told in Japanese folklore

that after 100 years service tools

acquire a spirit and deceive people’s hearts.


So too, containers and instruments receive

souls, arms & legs, faces with growing teeth.


We find, for instance, in the literature

possessed sake jars, mirrors, kettles;

animated gongs, umbrellas, clocks.


The critics comment that Tsukumogami are

by and large, harmless enough, though sometimes

they band together to take revenge


on the wasteful or those who throw things away

thoughtlessly. To this day, ceremonies are performed

to console broken and unusable articles. 


Andrew Soye


Andrew Soye is from Northern Ireland but has lived in Kenya, Rwanda and Malawi. His poem, Suppose I lost, published in Abridged, was shortlisted for the 2016 Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards Poem of the Year. Photo by Ger Holland.