plum poems

24Feb14

This year’s spring renshi (連詩) — linked poetry — written in rounds by Kiyoko Ogawa (小川聖子), Yoko Danno, Goro Takano (高野吾朗) and myself.  It’s time for plum blossoms.

1.
こちふかばにほひおこせよ梅の花主(あるじ)なしとて春を忘るな
菅原道真
when the easterly wind blows
send me your scent, ume blossoms,
never forget the spring
even if your master is far away from Kyo.
Sugawara no Michizane (845-903)*
trans. by Kiyoko Ogawa

2.

Mogaribue **

February wind was ferociously blowing
on the night you died.
Never could I forget that spring
when I saw only white flowers.

— Kiyoko Ogawa

* Michizane was relegated to Dazaifu, Kyushu in 901 by Fujiwara no Tokihira’s slander and died there.  He became the deity of Kitano-tenmangu.

** The winter gale sending out piping sounds. 虎落笛

3.

Her hair streaming in the wind
from the valley of death, she wears
on her breast a blue forget-me-not
― a. k. a. scorpion grass.

— Yoko Danno

4.

Joycean Twist:

When my days of sex and scorpions are over
The leftover of my sperms will fall
Faintly through the universe upon
All the living and the dead in my mind

          — Goro Takano

5.
A corpse riot
All the dead in my mind
are pummeled away in spring
when the corpses of ume flowers
exhume themselves from their black bark graves.

— Trane DeVore



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