reynardine: (fine)
[personal profile] reynardine2017-01-07 10:51 pm

小鳥の歌 43

Smiling serenely
My hands stretch out to offer
Nameless, faceless, I step back
And return to the shadows

Link: serenity to smiling serenely

Two people I know (one online, one in person--although he moved out of kingdom some years ago) were invited to join the Order of the Laurel today. They have worked hard and I am very happy for them. As for myself, well...
reynardine: (aki_momiji)
[personal profile] reynardine2017-01-04 06:28 pm

小鳥の歌 41 and 42

In a wild twirl
The last leaves of autumn dance
On the lacy grass
The hesitant ones are left
To the wind's icy mercy

Link: twirling to wild twirl. This one was setting up for the next poem, but was so obvious my brother-in-law caught the reference before I posted the next poem in the sequence. Which was awesome because that's HOW this kind of thing is supposed to work!

Within the tempest
I am a leaf on the wind
Just watch how I soar
In serenity I wait
For the inevitable

Link: icy mercy to within the tempest (eg: no mercy). The second and third lines are a paraphrase from the Firefly movie "Serenity" (hence the wordplay in line four).

For those unfamiliar:

Now get you heathens hence, and watch Firefly, one of the greatest sci-fi series ever made.
reynardine: (ferris_wheel)
[personal profile] reynardine2017-01-03 05:54 am

小鳥の歌 40

The winter prairie filled with
Pinwheels spinning
Gaudy illusions twirling
Amidst the dun-colored fields

Link: Possibilities to possibilities

Optimism turns to whimsy, can it be trusted? Or is it an illusion?
reynardine: (evening_kaze_hikaru)
[personal profile] reynardine2017-01-02 04:49 am

小鳥の歌 39

The New Year's new moon
The scent of snow in the air
Can you hear the bells?
All the world sees time turning
Oh! The possibilities!

Link: the old year to the new year

Note: poem included in a correspondence to my friend, Volu-Ingibiorg

小鳥の歌 38

Silence and stillness
The old year creeping away
As if embarrassed
These quiet waiting moments
Of intense anxiety

Link: Such awful stillness to silence and stillness

小鳥の歌 37

After the snowstorm
Out in the bone-chilling cold
Such awful stillness
The frozen branches twisting
In their silent agony


Link: Quiet curtain of lace to Such awful silence

小鳥の歌 36

Twilight snow settles
A quiet curtain of lace
Shutting out the sun
Whisper-soft, the darkness falls
Fingers tight around my throat

Link: Swirling snowflakes to a quiet curtain of lace

小鳥の歌 35

Walking silently
Among the swirling snowflakes
Leaving no footprints
Someone that you used to know
Someone you can't remember

link: shaken up snowglobe to swirling snowflakes

小鳥の歌 34

Empty sky blinking
Silently she cries, shedding
White frozen teardrops
Falling in all directions
Like a shaken-up snowglobe

link: pitiless sky to empty sky blinking, the falling metaphor also carries over

小鳥の歌 33

Final leaf falling
Floating gently to the ground
On a breath of wind
The naked maple shivers
Beneath a pitiless sky

link: blessings fall to leaf falling

小鳥の歌 32

The years pass as the
Year passes, yet your spirit
Still shines like the sun
May blessings fall upon you
Like snow on Mount Yoshino

Link: advent drifts in/the years pass
Written for my friend Saionji no Hana in honor of her birthday
Entry tags:

Waka Poetry Site, plus three new books!

I was so pleased to come across the Waka Poetry site again after several years. It has changed a lot and has a lot to look at!

Doctor Thomas McAuley of the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield (UK) runs the site. He announced the publication of 3 Japenese poetry e-books today for Kindle. They are:

McAuley, Thomas E. (2016) An Anthology of Classical Japanese Poetry: From Man'yōshū to Shinkokinshū (ASIN: B01MTUKF9K)

McAuley, Thomas E. (2016) Sanekata-shū: The Personal Poetry Collection of Fujiwara no Sanekata (ASIN: B01N47WSOL)

McAuley, Thomas E. (2016) Two Hundred Poem Sequences: The Entō Onhyakushu and Keiun Hyakushu (ASIN: B01N9BKS6A)

I gave them a look-over. Simply and nicely done. VERY reasonable prices compared to what poetry translations usually cost! The Anthology is $8, Sanekata Shu is $3, and Two Hundred-Poem Sequences is $2.99. Considering what Japanese literature books tend to sell for (unless you find them used, and even then! It's a small market, after all...), these are an incredible bargain!

I was especially excited to see the Two Hundred-Poem Sequences book, since I am researching that topic now, and am trying my hand at a hundred-poem sequence myself.

小鳥の歌 31

Candle flame glowing
Yellow leaves quivering as
Autumn shuts her eyes
Advent drifts in on the wind
Wrapped in a cloak iron grey


Link: Wet with tears to Autumn shuts her eyes

小鳥の歌 30

My fingers are bound
And my mouth sewn up with string
My face wet with tears
As our country tears itself
Apart, ripping at the seams

Link: shame to face wet with tears

小鳥の歌 29

Lit by agony
My words become shuriken
Thrown in a frenzy
In a whirlwind of fury
Behold my harvest of shame

link: agony to agony

小鳥の歌 28

Time in suspension
Waiting for the next moment
Excited, afraid
Oh, my breath is stripped away
In exquisite agony

Note: Link is breath of air to breath stripped away. I wrote this while watching the last few minutes of the 2016 World Series with the Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs won by 1 point during an extra inning AFTER a rain delay, breaking an 108 year record of losses. I'm not a huge Cubs fan or anything, but I did live in the Chicago area for a couple of years when I was little, and have visited there often, so I'm very happy for them.

小鳥の歌 27

Knit up with glistening gold
My heart is mended
Yet still so very fragile
Broken with a breath of air

Link: Falling apart at the seams to Knit up with glistening gold. Kinsukuroi 金繕い (also known as kintsugi 金継ぎ) is a process where broken ceramics are mended by using gold as a binder. There is no attempt to hide the fact that the ceramic piece was broken, but instead, the imperfection is recognized and celebrated.

小鳥の歌 23-26

Eternity waits
It is unkindly patient
And will not be rushed
But we who are mortal strain
To constrain every minute

A trap, a rope to
Tie me with, I will not lose
My freedom this way
Entice me with your smiles
Enfold me in your warm arms

Arm for a pillow
I gaze at your sleeping face
Noble in repose
Alas, I cannot stay long
The night passes in patches

Passing in patches
The night is stitched up roughly
Like a well-worn quilt
Falling apart at the seams
Barely holding together

Links: 23 "each breath an eternity" to "eternity waits"
24 "Constrain" to "a trap, a rope to tie me with"
25 "enfold me in your warm arms" to "arm for a pillow"
26 "Passing in patches" to "stitched up roughly"

小鳥の歌 22

Every night and all
Some cry, some pray, some seek peace
Within another's arms
Autumn's widening shadows
Each breath an eternity

Link: Okay, this one is a little obscure: The living and the dead to "every night and all", which is part of the chorus of the Lyke Wake Dirge.

My favorite version of this ancient song is rather modern, by Andrew Bird and Matt Berniger of The National:

小鳥の歌 21

A storm-fallen tree
Leaves in disarray my heart
Broken asunder
A torrential deluge falls
Upon the living and the dead

Notes: Link Hurricane to fallen tree. The last line is a twist on the last line of "The Dead" by James Joyce: "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead." That sentence has haunted me since I first read the story in high school.

Also note rare English kakekotoba (pivot word) in the 2nd line (my heart) that actually works like it might in Japanese, changing the meaning depending on whether you attach it to the words before or after.

Yes, I'm really upset about my dead tree.