I shall not forget that place
Where the dead were:
Only the rain, the rain,
None with me when I found
The church in its fallow ground;
Oh there was nothing there
But nettles and rain and grass,
So tangled you could not tell
Where the churchyard was,
And below in the plain
Grey fields and fields of rain.
Only the ebony rooks
Into the early light
Out of the ebony trees
Silent took flight.
I was afraid to hear
A voice in my ear.
No sound but a rook on the wing,
And of endless summer rain
The vasty whispering,
Yet close to my ear again,
(No stir from the tangled weed),
I heard, "Perpetual seed,"
And still, "Perpetual seed."
Joan Barton, The Mistress and Other Poems (The Sonus Press 1972). A subscript to the poem states: "November 1931." Joan Barton turned 23 in that year. For more about her, please see my post from March of 2011. "Rest Eternal" previously appeared here in November of 2011.
Rain on the leaves. A poem. A late summer September afternoon. These things arrive in their own time and after their own fashion, don't they?
John Mitchell (1862-1922), "The Waterfoot, Carradale" (1921)
Last Friday morning, I read this waka:
On an evening
set aglow with the crimson
of plum blossoms,
the willow boughs sway softly;
and the spring rain falls.
Kyōgoku Tamekane (1254-1332) (translated by Steven Carter), in Steven Carter, Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology (Stanford University Press 1991), page 244.
Of the many wonderful things about Japanese waka and haiku, perhaps the most wonderful is that each poem you read provides you with a beautiful reminder that life is to be lived in the present moment, and that the entire World is present in that moment.
Charles Kerr (1858-1907), "Carradale"