Carpe Diem has set us a fascinating challenge this time. As Chevrefeuille points out, poets often get their inspiration from the work of other poets, and we can try the same.
The poem offered as a starting point is by Otomo Miyuki and was written at the end of a period of conflict and war.
Our Sovereign, a god,
Has made his Imperial City
Out of the stretch of swamps,
Where chestnut horses sank
To their bellies.
The poem has powerful images – does that make the distillation easier? I don’t know, but if you follow the links on the Carpe Diem post, you’ll find haiku that really rise to this challenge.
The following is my contribution:
Now the swamps are gone
homeless will-o’-wisps will haunt
the imperial streets.