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For November's Poem of the Month I have chosen the poem 'Dōji Puppet' by Colin Dardis. It is taken from his new collection Dōji: A Blunder.


Dōji: A Blunder

1. Shuten-Dōji: a mythical Japanese demon leader.

2. doji n. a stock-trading session in which the opening

and closing prices are (nearly) the same.

From the Japanese dōji

a blunder; a blunderer; a fool or foolish thing.’





Dōji truffled out a corpse;
he knew nothing
of limbs, of lungs, of brain.
He saw a puppet,

so Dōji picked at the stuffing
and pawed out innards
onto the soil.

Mud was formed
from thick remnants of bladder-spill
and intestinal slop.
The earth grew warm from the foraging.

Dōji poked his head into the shell
and laughed;
the rain came, as Dōji pecked and clawed,
fitting the skin over him.
He could breathe,
he could move,
he was dry and could not be seen.

Dōji kajawed;
he had found a new game.