INSTINCTS #28: ‘The Divine Beasts’ by Yukari Kousaka

Hello friends, hope everyone is doing well!

After a 6-month break, I’m pleased to be able to relaunch our poetry series, INSTINCTS, with a fantasy poem by Japanese writer, Yukari Kousaka.

The Divine Beasts

Yukari Kousaka

The Azure Dragon shook the Kiyomizu Temple

After one tail-wag, extinguished the forest

The spiritual creature flew with great joy

The broad blue sky before her was a bubble.


The White Tiger crossed the Katsura River

After two jumps, rumbled all the earth

The majestic creature stood mighty and clever

The glorious golden sun on his shoulder.


The Vermilion Bird created the south breeze

After three flaps, burned the whole world

The beauteous creature scattered feathers like blossoms

The royal red star became her hair piece.


The Black Tortoise doesn’t move, like Mt. Hiei

After four yawns, created tidal waves

The silent creature in shells would pray

The deep darkness is there to cover him every day.


They each desired to be king of the divine beasts――

King to replace the now gone Qilin.

Born in Osaka in 2001, Yukari Kousaka is a Japanese poet, fiction writer, and essayist. Translated by Toshiya Kamei, her short fiction has appeared in New World Writing.

Work included in the Insignia Drabbles anthologies:

Mythical Creatures of Asia (Insignia Drabbles Vol.3.)

Mythical Beings of Asia (Insignia Drabbles Vol.4.)

Read more INSTINCTS poetry here.

Want to write for us? Submit a poem here.

Featured Photo by Sei on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: