Marvin Lurie

Golden Shovels

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage

with no leaves to blow.
Soseki

The trees are frost struck. Over
them like a cowl the
sky is gray and wintry.
A crust of snow covers the forest
floor. Everything bends away from the winds.
Wolves gather to howl
their dominion and mastery in
this cold world, where winds rage
through the trees, coating them with
ice. All small creatures hide. No
birds dare the branches. Only a memory of leaves
remains in some small hollows to
say there once was green, so harsh are the winds that blow.

 

Crow has flown away.
Swaying on the evening sun,
a leafless tree.
Soseki

The sullen winter crow
is left behind after snow has
fallen. Fair weather birds have flown.
Deer have drifted away
to the valleys. Winter darkened branches swaying
in a cold wind. A golden and russet fox prowls on
the snow hunting, the only bright color in the
woods. Little animals of the forest floor find their evening
nests under the snow before the falling sun
can enclose them in darkness. A
bare mountain rises behind the leafless
landscape and the crow in his tree.

 

The lamp once out
Cool stars enter

the window frame.
Soseki

The day is cooling. The
sky darkening. I will take down the lamp
soon. On a dusk like this once
the sunset flashed green and burned out
as quickly before the day-ending cool
breeze flowed in from the sea and stars
dusted the heavens. I will enter
my cottage on the shore when the
darkness settles, sit at the window
and let my world be enclosed by its frame

 

It was with awe
that I beheld
fresh leaves, green leaves
bright in the sun.
Basho

I came to the edge of the cliff alone when it
was the hour between dawn and sunrise. The east was
growing light, coloring the horizon with
a pale rose glow. I watched with awe
at the wonders of sunlight when I saw that
crimson streaks sundered the clouds and I
saw that the trees in the dark below beheld
the sun and the new fresh
day and lifted and turned their leaves
so all the forest below became green.
The dawn wind fingered the leaves
turning them in the sun so bright
flashes like spangles glittered in
the tree tops. Birdsong rose up in the
radiant air to celebrate the morning and rising sun.

 

Clear water is cool,
fireflies vanish.

There's nothing more
Chiyo

Fire races through the clear-
cut, hurdling streams, boiling away their water.
Smoke and ash swirl in the wind. The sun is
hidden. Undergrowth in the cool
forest begins to smolder when sparks, like fireflies,
float between the trees, vanish
in the smoking ground litter. There's
no place safe on the mountain. Nothing
can stop the fire's sprint to burn more.   

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