20 March

Wednesday, 9 April 2014 07:19
lnhammer: two saguaro cacti in a desert thornscrub landscape, with canyon walls behind (desert)
[personal profile] lnhammer
Goodness, it's been a while. I see there's quite a bit of dust, anyway, which would explain this lingering cough. It's not that I haven't been working, on poetry even, but not on Kokinshu though. To tide you over, a bit of original verse, such as I used to post when I started this journal -- a couple weeks late, to be sure, but still.

20 March

    To a newcomer,
the desert looks deserted,
    all thin thorny scrub
and creosote flatlands --
    far mountain ranges,
dry washes, and endless dust.
    Where are my colors,
where are my running rivers,
    where are my green trees
with leaves changing in autumn?
    But once I adapt
how I look at the landscape,
    see on its own terms,
I notice life everywhere -- 
    especially now
at spring's equinoctial start:
    the dawn mating calls
of birds too noisy to count,
    the early dances
of two yellow butterflies,
    the colored carpet
of bright desert wildflowers
    catching the first light
of a broad golden sunrise --
    as jackrabbits leap
and paired falcons pirouette,
    two coyotes trot
down the street toward the dry wash.
    Under the wide sky
with its uniform clear blue,
    this desert is home
to those who catch its cadence
in the rhythm of the year.


    Yellow marigolds,
red mallows and penstemons,
    deep violet lupines --
and through the colored carpet
a coyote hunts for mice.
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As language practice, I was translating classical Japanese poetry -- most recently, book 11 (love part 1) of the Kokinshu anthology. This project is, however, on hiatus. Past translations are archived here. Suggestions, corrections, and questions always welcome.

There's also original pomes in the journal archives.

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