The Spring Night

Peonies in black and white

Nothing
in the world
is usual today.
This is
the first morning.

*

Come quickly—as soon as
these blossoms open,
they fall.
This world exists
as a sheen of dew on flowers.

*

Even though
these pine trees
keep their original color,
everything green
is different in spring.

*

Seeing you is the thread
that ties me to this life—
If that knot
were cut this moment,
I’d have no regret.

*

Sleeplessly
I watch over
the spring night—
but no amount of guarding
is enough to make it stay.

This poem is by Izumi Shikibu, a Japanese poet born around the year 974, who lived and wrote during the Heian period. You can find it in the collection, The Ink Dark Moon. As a teenager, I had this poem pinned above my bed, right next to my Nirvana poster. I don’t know why I thought of this poem today, but I’m glad I did, because it reminded me how beautiful I find it and with what intense obsession (as can only be felt when you’re a teenager) I loved it. Mind you, I did love Nirvana equally.

By the way, I received an email yesterday telling me that I’ve been nominated for this blogging competition. I was quite surprised. So whoever nominated me, I just wanted to say thanks.