Monday, February 1, 2010

pale green scarves

making my way
down the banks of a little stream
i come across
an unexpected surprise.

pale green scarves
blowing in a watery breeze.


no flowers yet in the new year
but fresh grass blades surprise me in early february.
impatient for spring, white snowflakes
swirl through trees and courtyard like petals.

han yu (translated by tony barnstone and chou ping)

33 comments:

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Your header is spectacular! I'm still looking for real signs of spring here. No buds on the trees yet, but I do have a daffodil in bloom.

Jenny Stevning said...

I forgot to mention your photo of the red leaf on snow. Precious!!
I am looking forward to watching the leisurely transformation from winter to spring. Guess I shouldn't get too excited...kinda early still, yes?
Thank you, Steven!

Rachel Fenton said...

I like your new header picture - beautiful photograph. Made me smile to think how many scarves I lost as a child :)

Dan Gurney said...

Snow-edged stream flows clear.
Chill wraps my neck, looking in
I see my green scarf.

Elisabeth said...

I love the idea of blades of grass like green ribbons. Hints of spring indeed.

Dave King said...

That is an absolutely splendid post. The poem is strong, beautiful and evocative. The image, more down to earth, compliments it perfectly.

steven said...

hello lizzy - the scene in that header is what often awaits me at the end of my long walk home. it represents a very slight detour to the southwest of my home but it's well worth it!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi jenny stevning, i think we have a couple of months left before we start to see any real changes - possibly more! with there being relatively little snow on the ground, it's hard to say how this spring will be different from others. we'll have to wait and see! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi rachel - thankyou. where you lost scarves, i lost gloves. lots and lots of gloves!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

good morning dan, the haiku is the perfect accompaniment to the photograph. thankyou very much. steven

steven said...

hi elisabeth, green - especially pale green, in the wintertime is almost shocking to see. a beautiful shock! have a peaceful day. steven

Coastcard said...

Good morning, Steven. The sun is glinting on the snow here, which will soon be gone - revealing those green scarves.

I love your new header photograph. What a strange time of year: one minute ALL Winter, the next with sure signs of Spring.

It looks beautifully rural in your 'neck of the woods' (excuse scarf pun!).

steven said...

hi dave - thankyou very much. did you read dan's haiku? (up above in the comments). i tell you, you two guys are talented writers!!! steven

steven said...

hello caroline, thankyou. the city i live in has set aside a lot of green space, so it's not hard to find small ravines, woodlots, and trails running right through the heart of developed areas. i am very close to the edge of the city - so one hundred metres west of me is farmland that rolls on for a long distance. two kilometres south of me is similarly zoned. i'm really glad because i need to escape city streets as often as possible. have a peaceful day. steven

Golden West said...

I like the image of the Earth is parting the snow like a curtain being pulled back, as we wait for the first performance of Spring.

Barry said...

I know almost everyone has complimented you on your header already, but it really is excellent and I didn't want to get left out.

I was noticing yesterday that the grass on our yellow winter lawns has a tinge of green already.

Just teasing I think.

ellen abbott said...

Impatient for spring, yes. Not so much for summer.

Reya Mellicker said...

Because early February is halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox (up here in the northern hemisphere) we always used to refer to it as "the birthday of Spring."

No sign of warming here, but the light is changing. And I love February. Happiest Feb to you, Steven!

Bee said...

Even though February is still plenty wintery, isn't it funny how the plants and people alike are straining towards the greener growing season?

Bee said...

And on another topic: I am so enjoying watching Glee with my kids. What a fun show. I love the combination of twisted humor, satire, emotional warmth, and rousing music.

lissa said...

I'm dreaming of spring too, lovely poem

willow said...

Your pale green scarves brought to mind that fabulous scene in Memoirs of a Geisha, where the long pieces of silk are flowing in the stream.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

We've had red bud trees blooming for a couple of weeks in northern California. Yes, I know it's still California, but I still hear so many people complain about how "cold" it is here.

steven said...

golden west - i was crossing river on my way home this evening and of course it is usually frzoen over at this time of year. this year it has an open stretch flanked on either bank by layers of ice that have built up. it made me think something similar to what you suggest here - a pulling back like a curtain. have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hey thanks barry! our grass is all hidden under snow. even ninety km northeast of you is a whole different world. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

ellen - i'm looking forward to both - for different reasons and without expectation of each. they'll be beautiful i'm sure! steven

steven said...

hi reya - thankyou so much. i told my class today that we are almost exactly half way through the school year. so they looked at me unsure. then i said and winter is halfway through tomorrow and they looked unsure. so i said and i passed the halfway point of my expected life ten years ago and they looked at me in the strangest way. mmmmmm. spring's birthday. i can get inside that! steven

steven said...

oh bee - glee is so fun!!! i watch it with my thirteen year old daughter and we laugh and eye roll and grimace and dance our way through it. it's truly fun!!! steven

steven said...

hey lissa - when we're deeper into february and the skies are always cloudy and the sun makes only token appearances here - then we'll know the grey sorrows. i'll share them here no doubt. steven

steven said...

see willow i love that book for its lush fruitful richness. it shouldn't have ended!!! steven

steven said...

ladron - yes you're blessed! my brother is in vancouver and he knows what it's like to be in the cold, grey winter of february in the eastern woodlands. lucky lucky you!!! steven

Dan Gurney said...

Hi steven,

In our culture we decide arbitarily to call the winter solstice the FIRST day of winter. Other cultures call it the MIDDLE of winter as it's the shortest day/longest night of the year.

Tomorrow, the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox is in my book (and those other cultures) the FIRST day of spring!!!

Celebrate! At least here in Northern California spring is very much in evidence. Oh yes, it is!

Coastcard said...

Thank you, Steven, for the description of your locality. it helps us to picture everything much more vividly.

Strangely, my locality is not so different, and yet I always imagined you were far more rural. I often yearn for the countryside of my youth, but your challenge is to find the countryside in the town.