A wodden or stone gate with the ends of the crossbar often curved slightly upwards, like this:

__              __
\ \------------/ /
    / /     \ \
   / /       \ \
  / /         \ \
 / /           \ \
/ /             \ \
--               --

Torii are a standard feature of Shinto shrines.


    Stark, humble, spines,
    Upon a spit of crumpled stone.

There below, an inky pock,
A brinish bowl, gathers salts.

A coarse cup where, ancient and unremarked,
Bare, hollow-boned priests paced and washed.
Above the bitter green ocean-weed, raised a storm-worn
standard to the stinging ablution
Of a sweeping, shapeless sea.

A basin where I dipped and whispered,
Licked from my long hands.
Gave thanks for flesh.
The feeding upon of Her finny brood.

Then, the cedar ensnarled mount above like a glass,
a sistering shrine,
Of fine rounded rock; soft singing pools.

There I made my way above the storming grey,
And washed from my nails the white weepings of
Addled, unremembered sea-gods.


  Ooi hisame
   Togatteiru tsume
    Shio nameru.

  多い 氷雨
   尖っている 爪
    塩 なめる


Composed upon viewing a bare-boned,granite Torii upon the Pacific battered coast near Oarai, Ibaraki-ken, Japan.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.