31 Jan

“Public opinion is a weak tyrant, compared with our private opinion – what a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates his fate” ~Henry David Thoreau


In feudal Japan there was a
Specific samurai
Called “Ronin” who had lost a master
And was urged to die

Their loyalty meant much to them
And so it was believed
When the master they served was
Gone, they would not be grieved

The samurai would take his sword
And commit “seppuku”
Suicide so that to their
Master they could stay true

“Ronin” was the name given
To those who wouldn’t end
Their own lives and received great shame
From those that did depend

Still on living masters, Ronin
Were held with disdain
Labeled outcasts by the others
To wander the plain

It wasn’t until recently
That I gave this more thought
I’ve come to see the Ronin as
More than what we’ve been taught

The more I’ve pondered, I have seen
The opposite is true
Ronin were not cowardly
‘Cause they did not die too

Maybe it took courage to
Live on and serve their King
Although he was no longer there
His teachings could still bring

Strength and hope to everyone
And plunging sword in gut
Would make the door on all the things
They could still give slam shut

I’ve come to respect Ronin for
Not listening to those
Who’d rather take the easy way
Than dealing with their woes

They showed the courage to live on
And turn their backs on men
Who blindly followed without thought
Ignoring their own zen

I do not think the Ronin feared
From death, they were quite brave
To other people’s opinions
And thoughts they weren’t a slave

Although their King was gone, to them
He was still very present
They knew it was their duty to
Serve even as a peasant

They understood that status wasn’t
What it’s all about
Samurai or Ronin, neither
Label had more clout

And with the loss of their master
Was placed upon the Ronin even
Though they were now free

Free to go and see and do
Whatever they so pleased
Many of them did not have
A life that became eased

They still adhered to the code that
They always had lived by
The world is robbed of that when  you
Plunge sword in gut and die

As a servant of a King
Who I have never met
“Ronin” is a concept that
I will not soon forget

I know the Creator exists
But in this mortal form
Where seeing with my eyes and hearing
With ears is the norm

He isn’t something that I can
Connect with like the rest
Seven billion other people
Also can attest

And so I wander Ronin-style
Across the plains of Earth
Carrying the spirit of
My master through my mirth

And peace and grace and fortitude
Until my grave is dug
And as a Ronin, it won’t be
My hand that pulls the plug



8 Responses to “Ronin”

  1. drawharmony January 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I like that you used the word clout 🙂

  2. granbee January 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    All we followers of Jesus our Lord are ronin! And we face exactly the same type of public opinion in so many ways that the ronin did in medieval Japan!

  3. Sunshine January 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Thanks! Learned something new today about the life of a Ronin. 🙂

  4. Soma Mukherjee February 1, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Wow that was a great story..This tradition of Hara kiri others followed was an easy path I feel too..once the sun is gone you end your life but those who lived after it to brave the dark and spread light were real brave…

  5. christyb February 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Your poem has been thinking about people who are so concerned with what other people think that it holds back their own actions and they are fearful to express themselves. I used to be this way and it was hard to change, but in this instance change is good and you use Ronin to set a good example for your readers.

  6. Nandini February 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Great post, Miro. The quotation really resonated with me. 🙂 Thanks a lot!

  7. Deb February 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    The best path is not the easy one. We that love Jesus know this and follow His teachings on love….A true Ronin. a Warrior.
    This is a most excellent piece, Miro!
    Hugs, xx

  8. celestealluvial February 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    This was truly thoughtful and inspiring! And I share your sentiments here. A wonderful read and tribute…..Thanks for sharing it!

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