The cherry petals gone,
There is no special color to my thoughts,
Yet as I gaze,
From the vacant sky there falls
The quiet sadness of spring rain.

–Princess Shikishi (Miner, Introduction to Japanese Court Poetry)

Leica f/4 1/1600 146mm 800 ISO

What is it

about this twilight hour?

Even the sound

of a barely perceptible breeze

pierces the heart.

~Izumi Shikibu (J Hirshfield & M Aralani, The Ink Dark Moon)

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Like the comfortless plover of the beach

In the sand printing characters soon to be washed away.

Unable to leave a more enduring trace in this fleeting world.

~The Sarashina Diary, AD 1009-1059   (Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)

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The enduring qualities of art…speaking through time’s boundaries…resonating with the soul’s deep and private moments.

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Within a tree
another tree that is not yet,
and now the upper branches shift in the wind.

Within the blue sky
another blue sky that is not yet,
and now the horizon is rent by a bird in flight.

Within a body
another body that is not yet,
and now the shrine gathers blood.

Within a road
another road that is not yet,
and now that space is shaken by my destination.

–Kora Rumiko

 

Unable to sleep,

I gaze at the flowers of the bush clover,

as the dew forms on them from the long night,

till suddenly before dawn

they are scattered by the wind.

~Ise Tayu (K Rexroth & I Atsumi, The Burning Heart)

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