Poetic License - Late Winter
The Tale of Genji
The troubled waters
Are frozen fast.
Under clear heaven
Moonlight and shadow
Ebb and flow.
The memories of long love
Gather like drifting snow,
Poignant as the mandarin ducks
Who float side by side in sleep.
----Lady Murasaki (973-1014)
Drops in the East Wind, ©1966
You’ve left the big storms
Behind you now.
You didn’t ask then
Why you were born,
Where you came from, where you were going to,
You were just there in the storm,
In the fire.
But it is possible to live
In the everyday as well,
In the grey quiet day,
Set potatoes, rake leaves,
There’s so much to think about here in the world,
One life is not enough for it all.
After work you can fry bacon
And read Chinese poems.
Old Laertes cut briars,
Dug round his fig-trees,
And let the heroes fight on at Troy.
----Olav H. Hauge (1908-1994)
Frost and sunshine: day so wondrous!
Friend so charming, still thou slumberest -
Wake thou, my beauty, wake ‘tis time:
Open those eyes by comfort calloused
Toward the Aurora Borealis,
Star of the North, rise up and shine!
Remember last night, how the sleet hissed,
The sullen sky was thick with mist,
The yellow moon in the swirling gloom
Showed like a wan stain; in the room.
You sat, and sighed the hours away -
But now… look through the pane today.
Sparkling under the blue blue skies
There in the sunlight the snow lies,
A dazzling carpet without dust;
Only the light-pierced wood shows black;
Frost vies with green on firs, the slack
Stream shines beneath its icy crust.
Behold, the room with amber rays is
All bathed in light. The stove ablaze is
Cheerfully cracking over there.
‘Tis pleasant to sit by the fire,
But could we not ride through the brier
In a sleigh drawn by that old brown mare?
To glide o’er morning snow fresh fallen…
Dear friend, do let us heed that calling.
The mare’s impatient for the start!
And we shall pass by lonely meadows
And woods bereft of leafy shadows
And shores so dear unto my heart.
----Alexandr Pushkin (1799-1837)
If my voice dies on land,
take it down to the sea
and leave it on the shore.
Take it down to the sea
and make it captain
of a white man-of-war.
Honor it with
a sailor’s medal:
over its heart an anchor,
and on the anchor a star,
And on the star the wind,
And on the wind a sail!
----Rafael Alberti (1901-1999)
Let us go now into the forest.
Trees will pas by your face,
and I will stop and offer you to them,
but they cannot bend down.
The night watches over its creatures,
except for the pine trees that never change:
the old wounded springs that spring
blessed gum, eternal afternoons.
If they could, the trees would lift you
and carry you from valley to valley,
and you would pass from arm to arm,
a child running
from father to father.
----Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)
Clearing at Dawn
The fields are chill, the sparse rain has stopped;
The colors of Spring teem on every side.
With leaping fish the blue pond is full;
With singing thrushes the green boughs droop.
The flowers of the field have dabbled their powdered cheeks;
The mountain grasses are bent level at the waist.
By the bamboo stream the last fragment of cloud
Blown by the wind slowly scatters away.
----Li Po (701-762)
Unless otherwise indicated, all Lake Effect Living photographs are the work and property of Sharon Pisacreta.
February - March 2012