Friday, January 31, 2020

Variant on Kokin Wakashu, 11

Baby's freezing,
it's her first song.
She sings while
the cold radiator keeps time
banging on the hollow pipes
deep within the house.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Variant on Kokin Wakashu, 10

What is there to commend us
to the grass that sleeps
under the snow? To the trees
hardened to pieces of armor
abandoned on the battlefield?
To the birds hidden within?
What is there we cannot
see? Not know? Or speak of
only in dreams?
Why is the future white
and the past shrouded
in darkness?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Variant on Kokin Wakashu, 10

I wonder if there is anything to do,
anything left undone.
The  laundry of the soul.
Letters intended but unwritten,
written but unsent. Written
over and over
then abandoned,
crumpled up
and tossed out.
I wonder
what the world
could have been, what life
I might have taken on
if I did not
wear this one
quite so often?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Variant on Kokin Wakashu, 9

If snow covered the sun.
If the earth glowed
with the light of a thousand stars.
If you could hold the moon in your hand
like a potato freshly dug
from the earth, still smelling
of another world
it came from.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Variant on Kokin Wakashu, 8

Snow covers the sun.
No clouds, no warmth,
no color. The world
shakes itself
like a dog
in winter.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Variant on Kokin Wakashu, 7 (The Last Fold)

Fold your heart.
Fold it again.
Like two-sided paper:
red on one side, white on the other.
Fold it a third time, a fourth.
Things begin to take shape.
A crane, a mountain,
a boat, a tree covered in snow.
The last fold could explain it all
if you have the skill
or the patience
to pull it off.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Variation on Kokin Wakashu, 6

Ask the snow.
It won't be here forever.
Ask it

how many blossoms
it can see
hiding under its coat.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Variation on Kokin Wakashu, 5 (Not Telling)

Snow on the plum blossoms.
Like putting funny hats
on religious statues.
How do I know? Not telling.