A ladder of cloud steps
up the valley casting linear
shadows on a bronze afternoon.
Still pale, a full moon follows.
Sparrows in flock descending the oak
in a shower of chittering, rinse off
the last autumn lint. Branches
shiver – the tree shelters
April deep in her wood.
Katsushika Hokusai, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 2015
I forage the shallows, edges
tiled in lily pads where small frogs
startle into air, my feet content
with mud and grass. Water, silt stained,
cool. A long slow span lifts
to cross the river over banks bound
in trees – the farmer daily toils
its rise and fall to pasture.
His ox, rope slack, compliant.
Beyond the dear particulars of now,
September’s leathern leaves,
a flash of goldfinch in the oak –
sky rinsed to the indigo line,
I see Mt. Fuji tranquil