Friday, July 3, 2009

alley in the rain

there's been lots of rain lately. lots of different kinds of rain. misty rain. hard blowing rain, gentle summer rain. sunshowers.

i have so many associations with the different kinds of rain. some make me wriggle in delight that i am inside with a good book and lots of good tasties on hand. some make me want to go out and walk in them. some make me want to be on my bike. others i just love to stand by the front door and watch.

some make me wistful.

hasui kawase "bell tower in rain, okayama"


alley in the rain

carrying an oil-paper umbrella
wandering alone in the deep, deep
and desolate rain-filled alley
i expect to meet
a girl imbued with sadness of lilac

she will be steeped in the colors of lilac
sad in the rain
sad and wandering

she will be wandering in this lonely alley
carrying an oil-paper umbrella
like me
just like me
walking in silence
solitary and sad

she will approach in silence
draw close and gaze deep, deep into my eyes
she will drift past
like a figure in a dream

like lilac
drifting in a dream
the girl will drift away from me
the girl will drift away from me
further and further, still in silence
she will pass a broken-down fence
and out of the rain-filled alley

amid the melancholy music of the rain
her colour will fade
her fragrance will fade
fade away like her deep, deep gaze
and lilac sadness

i expect that as I wander alone
in the deep, deep and desolate rain-filled alley
carrying an oil-paper umbrella
i shall see a girl drift past
steeped in the sadness of lilac

wangshu dai (trans. michael bullock, wenting liao)


"yasada pagoda" takeji asano

8 comments:

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

I like the poem even though it is very melancholic.
Have you noticed that there are many Japanese prints featuring the rain...I love them...

How do you find the time to search out the material for your posts. Do you start each day from scratch or have some material saved...
I know how long it takes...

Happy days

steven said...

hi delwyn, yes it's a melancholic post. a wistful post i suppose. i woke up from a dream about a person leaving my life and - well this happens all the time in our lives - people pass through. there's the joyous arrival and then the resolving of knowing and finally the passing by. in some respects that's melancholic, in others it makes perfect sense. there's balance. but letting go (and in the dream it was my daughter), well that's difficult.
i love the japanese prints - well certain of them - and i couldn't pick a period or an artist, they really tell stories and carry feelings well.
how do i find time? i make time available every day to search, to think and to write for this blog. if i come across something that might be handy later or expresses something well then i save it and when the time comes that it fits then i post it with revisions. otherwise i start from scratch and press on.
i write two blogs actually. the other is "flow" linked off the golden fish page. each has a purpose. my original intention with the golden fish was to write for one thousand days taking my model from a tradition among the sufis where you play only one note on the bass end of the flute for 1000 days. you can think about as many notes as you want, but you can't play them. just that one note for 1000 days. then i woke up one day and knew i should write "flow" and so i knew that - for a while - one blog would be about me and the outer world and one would be about me and the inner world and that by the end of the thousand days they would meld together, which they are slowly doing even now.
there's lots of info for you to mull over delwyn!!!! i (and most who know me) wish i could be more succinct, but i'm not!!!! have a peaceful day. steven

The Weaver of Grass said...

Beautiful sad poem.
I too love the rain in most of its forms. Today it is gently and constant - what could be better for walking in (with an umbrella)

steven said...

hello weaver! i love the rain in all its forms except one - freezing rain. i rode to school on my bicycle once during a freezing rain storm. astonishingly the rain froze to me but not to the road. which was a good thing. otherwise i love rain walks. watching the rain. listening to the rain. i remember one walk along the pennine way that took me past hannah hauxwell's home. that was a persistent drizzle that worked its way into my bones and required several brew-ups to chase off!!! have a peaceful rainy day. steven

Goldenrod said...

I have long thought that The Golden Fish was already such a meld, always thoughtfully and oftentimes beautifully and brilliantly composed. What continues to astound me, Steven, is your (almost childlike) delight in observing the smallest everyday things around you. One can't help but feel good after reading what you have to write and viewing what you have found worthy of sharing with others.

steven said...

hi goldenrod, thanks for that very kind comment! i'll have to come back and read that on those days when it's hard to find the sun let alone the child inside!!! steven

Amelia said...

Hi Steven. Came across your blog via Willow. I love the rain for many reasons as well. In fact, I love to stand out in it often - and I def love the smell of it and how it fills me inside.

Love your blog and plan to be back.

steven said...

hi amelia, thankyou for visiting. i love that you describe rain as "filling you inside". that's what it does - in three words! yum! welcome. steven