Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nihirizumu no Kage

Image source: google

Nihirizumu no Kage (Shadow of Nihilism)

Turbulent winds blow, tearing asunder
the life-force, a full flow, feeling the thunder
shockwave tear the air, rip through the atmosphere
impale the ill-prepared, lungs inhale blue fear!

Oblivion, be my blade, be not afraid
obliterate the masquerade, air-raid remade
in the image we imagine with dragons of all fashion
with a visage we envision that drags on flame passion!

Pierce the foundations and burn through the earth
render all creation to dust for rebirth
this existence is transitory, so what’s it worth
for your assistance to transcribe the story?

I’ll wield your girth in my hands for the master stroke
bookmark the chapter with designs on that disaster smoke
soul-cutting raptor!

Now obliterate, Nihirizumu no Kage!

(Disclaimer: The video above includes graphic language, graphic comic-book-style violence, and graphic all-around ninja-move badassery. Don't watch it unless you have a kung-fu grip on yourselves.)

Written for dVerse Poetics : Modern mythologies. The prompt was to modernize an old mythological story. Other dVerse poets gave this prompt a whirl too. Check them out here. I was drawing a blank, so I decided to take an already modernized mythology (source: modern obscure geeky anime) and add my own spin to it.

The Anime/Manga Bleach is a story about a kid named Ichigo who discovers that he has the supernatural powers of a soul reaper. Each soul reaper has his own soul-cutting spirit sword (or Zanpakutō) that basically embodies his fighting spirit and “lends” the wielder its power once the wielder calls for it by name (usually accompanied by a flowery, poetic incantation like “ROAR, ZABIMAROU!”)

Here's a clip of Ighico being trained to communicate with his Zanpakutō, named Zangetsu ("Slaying Moon")

I know what you're wondering; how is any of this relevant? A few years ago, my writing was blocked, big time. To get myself back to writing, I decided to give myself a Zanpakutō and an incantation that would act as my writing's “fighting spirit”. I wanted the name to sound authentic, so I googled Japanese phrases and translated them to find a really badass-sounding name. (Yes, I’m that kind of nerd, but it worked!)  

Here’s the original incantation:
Turbulent winds blow!
Oblivion be my blade!
Pierce the foundations!

Now obliterate, Nihirizumu no Kage!
Pretty boss, right? Like I said, I’m a nerd, and here’s my own personal nerd mythology.


  1. That is very interesting...I liked the power and intensity you build in here..
    Pierce the foundations and burn through the earth
    render all creation to dust for rebirth

    Thanks for joining my prompt.

  2. hell yeah....beyond the content you crafted this with a nice artistic touch...the rhymes and internal rhythm of this are fun...and fast paced....enjoyed reading this much barry....

    1. hey man, how have you been?

    2. I was going to try to bullshit and joke my way through a reply, but I'd feel like a total asshole since you were kind enough to ask...

      I've been in one of my blue funks, having a bout of depression and whatnot. Pretty common for me. It's just one of those things, I guess.

      I try to feel normal by engaging in my passions (poetry, football, astronomy) but usually when I get like this, I just hunker down and wait for the storm to pass.

      Fortunately for me, I have plenty of dVerse poets to read and distract myself.

      Thanks for checking in on me. I've got some things knocking about in my head. I'm sure I'll have new poems soon. :)

  3. There are some wonderful word plays...an enjoyable read :)

  4. I really like how you have made this idea your own, Barry! Fascinating poem as well as background.

  5. transitory indeed... and often we need someone to translate as well so we can mark the spot on the map... cool take barry

  6. Haha! my favorite part was in your comment.. unless ya got a Kung FU grip on yourself..yah.. i got some stuff like that on my blog too..heHE with capital H E..haha! freedom is definitely in having a KungFU grip on ya self!..

    ya get to go anywhere...

    with never FEAR!



    but remember i got the KungFU grip.. nah excitement real here at core...

    It's all KOOL MAN.. JUST ALL KOOL..
    AS EGO I create..in letters ..words..voice and moving like a swan song on the lake of asphalt and concrete real..

    just a word or two different.. and i get to be whoeva i want!..;)

    looks like you enjoy life..

    and yes...SO DO I..:)

  7. I envisage Bizza in a warrior suit wielding a sword with a Japanese war cry about to embark on the creative exercise of writing. Your neighbours must find you interesting (giggles). I have given up on trying to get a kung fu grip on myself. Just indulge myself now in badassery.Ha.. I'm learning some new words:) Enjoyed this wild poem.

    1. My neighbors are probably more concerned by the steady stream of obscenities pouring out of me during football Sundays when my Bears are crapping their Huggies again. I'm sure they'll be pretty cross with me the first time their kid asks them "Mommy, daddy, what's a Buzzardfucker?"

  8. I admire the energy and tension ~ Thanks for the back story as well sharing the original incantation ~ Hope you are well ~