ext_51796: (autumn_cat_reynardine)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Where are the colors?
How late the summer lingers!
The leaves still verdant
A season out of season
A month when there are no gods

This one is rather hard to see: a mother, sighing, I bend down to start cleaning -- to Where are the colors? It actually started as where are the CHILDREN, but the poem then turned into a comment about the leaves remaining green this far into October Kannazuki (神無月) short for kaminashizuki "the month when there are no gods", commonly called the "godless month" in the Japanese calendar. The eight million or so native gods of Japan all travel to Izumo taisha (the Grand Izumo Shrine) in October, leaving the rest of the country "godless".
ext_51796: (garden_girl_with_basket)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Fallen tree branches
Scattered all over the lawn
Like thrown-away toys
And like a mother, sighing,
I bend down to start cleaning
ext_51796: (cry)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Smile, just smile
As the whirlwind descends
And the world crumbles
Nothing can be done, so let
The tears fall, and just smile

Link: persevere to smile, just smile (a sarcastic turn)
ext_51796: (clock_goth_pink)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Time is merciless
Adding to my sorrow and
Stealing my beauty
But my heart must persevere
For hope still walks among us

Link: Without mercy to merciless
ext_51796: (autumn_momiji_hands)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Happy memories
Wrapped up in their rosy haze
Of bygone sweetness
Yet the air nowadays is
Cold and clear, without mercy

Note: link is wood-smoke to rosy haze
ext_51796: (cat_witch)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
The scent of wood-smoke
Carried on the autumn wind
And I am brought back
To those happy childhood days
My family around me

Notes: Link: From "premonition" to "I am brought back", imagined future to remembered past.

Something about the smell of wood-smoke reminds me of autumn during my childhood--never mind that I grew up in Texas! We had a fireplace and my father liked to use it just as the weather started to cool.
ext_51796: (aki_momiji)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Shivering, I wake
One-half hour before the dawn
A premonition
I reach for my beloved
But he is no longer there

Link: Chill runs up my spine to Shivering

Everything is fine with my husband--he wasn't there when I woke up because he was working the midnight shift, LOL. Poetry makes everything more dramatic!!!
ext_51796: (akikawa_nikki_3)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
I look up, seeing
The slightest hint of color
Autumn's harbinger
The leaves whisper "Make ready!"
And a chill runs up my spine

Link: Sinners' upraised faces to I look up. Since the last poem was purely spiritual, I needed to bring the poems back into the seasonal theme. It's important that the poems keep their seasonal/natural world grounding, even if the theme wanders away from time to time.
ext_51796: (catholic_my_angel)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Imperfect prayer
Unwieldy, broken, and bent
Painfully sincere
I see God reflected in
The sinners' upraised faces

Notes: link from bleeding lips to broken, bent, painful

I am a bit behind, but should finish by New Year's.
ext_51796: (autumn_brook)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Autumn rains falling
Early this year, my tear drops
Will not be noticed
Crickets cry, a broken song
Dripping from my bleeding lips


Link: rains must fall, shoulders curl -> autumn rains falling, tear drops, dripping

Autumn rains is a common poetic term for sorrow
ext_51796: (window_rainy_day)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
The gathering clouds darken
Hear the thunder roll!
No escape, the rain must fall
Shuddering, my shoulders curl

link: Yoshitsune descending on heedless Dannoura; Unexpectedly, no escape

I like rain, but not thunderstorms. This one was particularly vicious.
ext_51796: (window_rainy_day)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Darkness surrounding
My senses as I reel
Closing around me
Morpheus, why hasten you
Here, so far from your kingdom?

Make haste, make haste, there
Is no more time for dreaming
Time creeps upon you
Yoshitsune descending
On heedless Dannoura


Links: Midnight vigil to Darkness surrounding, why hasten you to make haste

First poem actually describes a fainting spell, can also mean depression. Morpheus is the Lord of Dreams.

Second poem notes there is not time for dreaming. I am trying to finish a project and am (as usual) running late. Yoshitsune descending upon Dannoura refers to the Battle of Dan no Ura, the final battle of the Genpei War (between the Minamoto and Taira clans, April 25th, 1185). Although mostly a sea battle, the land forces of the Taira were on a beach at Dan no Ura (which literally means "beach platform), when Minamoto no Yoshitsune came down upon them with his forces, riding down a very steep cliffside in a sneak attack.
ext_51796: (sleepy_pusheen)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Arm as a pillow
I gaze at your sleeping form
Blessedly peaceful
My midnight vigil begins
While you doze like an infant

Notes: link Hand reaching to arm as a pillow.

Arm as a pillow is a makurakatoba, indicating sleeping with someone, often after intercourse.

The "feeling" is actually more comic in effect than early classical Japanese poetry, but believe me, it was truly felt.
ext_51796: (love_vintage)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Your radiant smile
Still has the power to stir
My love-wary heart
So weary of Love's cruel games
I extend a cautious hand

Link: radiant stars to radiant smile
Attempt at kakekatoba (pivot word) with the wary/weary pun. Not sure I like it, I ended up repeating "love" as well. I suppose I might have used "Cupid's games" instead? Oh, well, tanka: one and done. Move on.
ext_51796: (catholic_my_angel)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
The world keeps spinning
All things alight in their time
Nothing is constant
Even the darkest night is
Pierced by the radiant stars


Link: "The world turned upside down" to "the world keeps spinning".

Alight can mean "to descend" or "to come off of", or it can also mean to "suddenly chance upon". The ambiguity is purposeful.

This poem counters the negative uncertainty of the previous poem with a more positive feeling.
ext_51796: (cat_revolving)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Time interrupted
The earth danced beneath my feet
Yet my heart stood still
Be content, the times lament
The world turned upside down


This morning, an earthquake of 5.6 on the Richter scale hit Pawnee, OK. It was felt throughout seven states, and quite strongly here, shaking our house for about a minute. It was my first earthquake and I wasn't sure what to think about it (neither was my cat, Ryoko, who was sitting nearby!).

Link to the previous verse: one moment, much like another--my heart stood still

"Be content, the times lament" and "the world turned upside down" are from the 17th century song The World Turned Upside Down, which refers to the banning of certain Christmas traditions during the English Civil War.

And yes, this is the song Lin Manuel-Miranda refers to in the song "Yorktown" from Hamilton the Musical, and I'll be truthful, I would not have known about the other without his reference.

The phrase "the World Turned Upside Down" actually dates back to the Book of Acts 17:6, King James Version.

I especially liked the "Be content, the times lament" which speak as clearly now as when the words were written in 1646. It was a common for Japanese poems to refer to entire phrases from ancient tanka, knowing that the meaning would be understood. The practice was called makurakatoba. It was understood that cultured people would catch the earlier reference. Sometimes these makurakatoba could be quite opaque.
ext_51796: (cat_window)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
Misty-eyed, I wait
Trembling to hear the news
Today, tomorrow
It all has become the same
Distilled into one moment


Ties to the previous poem: Misty-eyed from "Mist rising", repeating the theme of "future becomes the past" by emphasizing the loss of the sense of time passing.

My cat Nabiki fell ill suddenly and I had to take her to the vet. Since they had to fit her in between appointments, I ended up waiting all day, sick with worry about her.

Buddhism teaches that time is a human construct that causes suffering. There is no yesterday or tomorrow, only today, only this moment we live in. Unfortunately, this minute was all about anxiety and sorrow.
ext_51796: (goldfinch)
[identity profile] reynardine.livejournal.com
A sparrow singing
Amidst the cicadas' cries
Welcoming twilight
Winds in the east, mist rising
Future mirroring the past

Birdsong will be a continued theme
Cicadas' cries mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn
They are loudest at twilight, but also, they sing as they die, as the summer dies
The last two lines call back to "Winds in the East" from Mary Poppins (lyrics by Robert and Richard Sherman)

"Winds in the east, mist comin' in
Like somethin' is brewin', about to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
But I feel what's to happen all happened before."


akikawa_nikki: (Default)
Akikawa Nikki

January 2017

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