Sunday, January 1, 2012

Winter Sweater

The winter sweater
And the January cold
And a few blankets

A new boyfriend for dinner;
Maybe he's the one I'll love

The far-away stars,
Are they so indifferent?,
Do they shine for us?

The bar's Saturday line dance;
Clap, stomp and turn to the beat

Harvesting the grapes
There's the rush before the crush
And anxious owners

The warm October sunrise
Kids getting ready for school

Sparrows in the grass,
At the sight of a shadow,
Hide in the hedges

A pause in the silent house
As she soaks in the quiet

The window rattles
But just for a few seconds
A sudden May wind

The branches filter the light
Of a moon that's nearly full

"What was the question?"
The t.v. is much too loud
For conversation

Hidden behind the garage
Cascading lilacs bloom


Brian said...

A feast. I particularly enjoyed your use of 'fragrance' (nioi) in linking verses. Also your refusal to resort to the merely glib.

I've never seen renga done in the traditional English 5-7-5/7-7 syllabic count before and had to go back to discover it as the verses read so naturally. A beautiful poem.

Jim714 said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the Renga.

Regarding the syllable count: When I was reading transliterations of Japanese Renga I discovered that the traditional count gives Renga a kind of steady flow. I compare it to the current of a river under a canoe; a kind of pulse. What I discovered is that this pulse is one of the aspects which brings unity (and beauty) to a Renga and since the imagery of Renga tends to be disparate, the function of this steady pulse serves to pull, or hold, these images together. Kind of like the steady beat of meter holds together the specific notes of a melody.

Western Renga writers have, almost all of them, opted for a free verse line which varies greatly from verse to verse. The result is an absence of this kind of steady pulse which I find in Japanese Renga. The absence of the underlying pulse tends to isolate each verse so that it feels to me more like looking at a series of snapshopts rather than a journey down a river.

Thanks again for your kind comments.