Early Japanese Poems
The mists rise over
The still pools at Suka.
Memory does not
pass away so easily.
In a gust of wind the white dew
On the Autumn grass
Scatters like a broken necklace.
Bunya no asayasu
The River Izumi
Floods the plain of Mika.
Did I ever meet her?
Why do I long for her?
Fujiwara no go-kanesuke
on a barren branch
a raven has perched –
Dawn only the mountain sees me leave
halfway up the stair –
Elizabeth Searle Lamb
A poem to start your journey:
Unfold Your Own Myth
Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who lets a bucket down and brings
up a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?
Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
And opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes the moment
of feeling the wings you’ve grown,