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Verses by John Smith

I was fascinated with Fujimoto,s Cube and the amazing way it suddenly
takes form from the open paper. The only way I could express this
wonder was in this little poem which was the very first of my Origami
verses. I sent it to Fujimoto and he published it in his book " CreativeInvitation to Origami Play " 1982.


Fujimoto's Cube

   I sit and look at you my friend , and marvel at your being .
From one perfection to another .
From the anonymity and illusion of the plane , to the reality of the cube .
Yet the two are one ; it is time and space that have changed .
I sit and look at you , my friend , and wonder at your perfection
All is needed , nothing is wasted .
And what a journey from one perfection to another !
An instant of magic when anonymity changes to reality .
When the plane becomes a cube ,
When nothingness becomes reality , with shape and space and meaning
Here is the mystery of our art .

To David Brill's Horse

But this is a horse,

This thing of paper plain.

For these folds form

The sinews of a stallion,

A wild free living beast.

Thus can life shine through

The constraints of our art.

These lines were written to express my feelings about what I believe to be the finest horse ever created in Origami.

 I wrote this little poem for Akira Yoshizawa after seeing him teach children in Norwich in 1983.


 Akira's Children

 His hands reach out in greeting as they come

Love seeks each one .

One hand claps in soundless silence

Two hands clap , a world awakens

Heartbeats as one .

Hands dance with paper and the life begins to stir

A butterfly appears , then a host fluttering to the sun

And all is one .

Akira's Children .

To Origami

What gentle art to confine

By plane of paper - folded line .

What magic here to capture me ,

In infinite variety .

Shape on shape and fold on fold

Creates a world from simple mould .

In what emerges my eye can see

Bird or Beast or Geometry .

The art's not in the form thats won

alone , but also in the journey done .

Through plane of paper and folded line

A glimpse of eternity is mine .

What gentle art to confine

By plane of paper - folded line .

What magic here to capture me ,

In infinite variety .

In December 1944 I attended a convention in Japan. This inspired me to attempt some Haiku. This is a form of poetry with only 17 syllables arranged in 3 lines of 5,7 and 5. One seeks to capture something of special significance in the flow of events. 

Our leaves wait for you,

To show you what autumn is like,

When you go, they fall.

 Toru Tanabe, Chairman of the organising committee for Origami Science

said the leaves were still on the trees in his opening speech. This inspired me to write this Haiku

Now the great bell tolls

Deep dark tidings through dead leaves

Soon silence again.


I heard the great Syoro ( bell) of the Kaidan-In Temple while looking

at the colours of the autumn leaves.

golden crane award