Monthly Archives: January 2015

I know I said


       I know I said I’d call by five,

but the soup—I got the onions, the garlic, the cream just right,

everyone said so,

and the talk was so nice,

and when I walked everyone out to their cars,

and there was that big blue sky

and I think I told you I’d just oiled my chain,

what choice did I have?


And when at last

I saw the horizon go peachy,

with me and my bicycle right there,

so close to Yatsuyama,

what was I to do?


I even saw a way up I never had before,

and up a new trail I went,

through bamboo,

and then there I was,

in a playground

—who knew?—

with a giant jungle gym—

with a magic lookout

to be scaled by ropes and ladders,

and I got up there just in time to see big clouds rumble up like mountains,


all pink,

and to see the sun set over the hills out towards Yaizu,


and the crows,


—those blasted crows, we’ve always said—

were coming home to roost like mad,

back to Yatsuyama,

only now I tell you,

there was something about their song

I liked.

So forgive me, but I just stood there and watched the sky turn lavender and pink.


A plum tree ripening before my very eyes,

the taste in my mouth so delicious and sweet—

Ah! I remember now! Do you?

That time

I bought you those grapes,

and you invited me over,

and how when I got to your place,

you’d just eaten the last one—

how you said they’d been so delicious and sweet,

and how I put my hand on your hip–your smile so delicious and sweet?

Ah, sweetheart,

how long I needed to stand there

wishing I could


that sky.


Bird and telephone pole


It’s easy to take a picture of a bird flying by a telephone pole.


But it’s a bit hard to take just a picture of a bird flying by a telephone pole—at least for me.


Other stuff keeps getting into the frame. And then I’m looking at that other stuff. And then my eyes are really opening—and I can’t stop looking for and at as much stuff as I can.

And before I know it, a wet and gray winter day becomes . . .


. . . the day I notice the plums are in bud.


Look! The first one’s just bust wide open!


Waaaaah! Here come the plums! Go ahead, let yourself smile!

I heard a young boy say once—a young boy frustrated in love—

I wasn’t ready to think about spring

But the plum trees bloomed anyway.

Ready or not here they come.




Ryuso Mountain. January 1st. 4:50 am. The stone steps are solid. The way up is sure. Every day is a new day. . . . Just charge your light’s battery before you head off.


. . . . He looked down into the water and watched the lines that went straight down into the dark of the water. He kept them straighter than anyone did, so that at each level in the darkness of the stream there would be a bait waiting exactly where he wished it to be for any fish that swam there. Others let them them drift with the current and sometimes they were at  sixty fathoms when the fishermen thought they were at a hundred. . . .


. . . . But, he thought, I keep them with precision. Only I have no luck any more. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact.   


“There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only you.”

“Thank you. You make me happy. I hope no fish will come along so great that he will prove us wrong.”

“There is no such fish if you are still strong as you say.”

“I may not be as strong as I think,” the old man said. “But I know many tricks and I have resolution.”

from The Old Man and the Sea