Monday, May 20, 2013

being here is wondrous


before daybreak
came to me

robed in

I have nothing
to offer him I just
gratefully receive his gift

a broken seam
allowed me a momentary peek at
his naked self

yet once again
I mend
his tatters

One day, scrolling through the poets on the Poetry International website, I came across a poem by the Japanese poet, Shantaro Tanikawa. It was called, "I Sit" and I couldn't help comparing it to a favorite poem of mine by the Canadian poet, Phyllis Webb. 

So first here is the one by Tanikawa:


One afternoon with the sky covered in thin clouds
I sit on a sofa
like a shelled clam

There are things I must tend to
but I do nothing
simply sitting enchanted

Those that are beautiful are beautiful
Even those that are ugly
somehow look beautiful

Simply being here is
I become something other than myself

I stand up to
drink a sip of water
water is also wondrous

And here, by Webb:


by Phyllis Webb

The degree of nothingness
is important:
to sit emptily
in the sun
receiving fire
that is the way
to mend
an extraordinary world,
sitting perfectly
and only
remotely human.

It's interesting to read some biographical notes on Tanikawa {here} and to hear of the reasons why he stopped writing poetry for a time. And Webb, too, stopped writing, or at least publishing poetry, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, or that have been withheld.

As writers, we accept what comes to us, the Poem, in tatters - we'll take that gift. We sit, receive. We are enchanted by what is wondrous.

But the words may not always arrive, which is why it's important to receive them when they do. Sometimes there will be an abundance.

And then, there is this sudden spring abundance. (No wonder poets are always captivated by the spring...) It's impossible to keep up to all the changes, the beauty of it. The light changes every day. Several times a day. The blossoms, just beginning, in these photographs, are now in full bloom outdoors.

We begin with morning light on plum blossoms:

And then, afternoon light on plum blossoms:

It's a holiday Monday today, and so for those of you who are not working, for those of you who are working, I wish you some time to: sit emptily / in the sun / receiving fire....

1 comment:

  1. wow. Quite the plum tree you have, my dear. I only have one branch . . . :(


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...