Saturday, 11 July 2015
from Blackwater Quartet, selection 34
Sunlight samples the stoneware’s glaze, the pine,
its studied pose of branches.
Tending bonsai, I am taller than Japan,
a scene of lakes in sunshot air, a world augmented.
The hermit Basho
wept to see the celebrated pine at Takekuma
cut for bridge piles in Natori river.
Here, May spills into summer. Swifts’ wings
hook the rising current,
and the maple’s blousy canopy
flushes pinkflamingo into deeper blood of red.
My gardening bent
eludes my wife’s own inclinations to Chablis.
I spend mornings pruning stubborn gnarls,
righting inclinations of the trees
with preference to weathered whorls.
Leaves of iris scattered thus for luck, consider the recluse
Basho, haiku pilgrimage among flowering cherries.
This is the roof of the world.
My wife is floating in the deadwood tines.
Seventeen syllables arabesque— a brushstroke
universe shimmering in her glass.
A lacquered box she carries opens.
In the shadow of the pine, empty dreams pass.
In chrysanthemum armour, swifts rocket.