Thursday, December 27, 2007

Patricia Prime: WHITE & RED

.................The plum blossom
.......that I thought I would show to my man
...........cannot be distinguished now
.................from the falling snow

................Yamabe Akahito
(Love Songs from the Man’yoshu, Vol. 8, 1426)

early spring
the snow falls softly
on white blossoms
this evening alone –
how cold it is

a sprig of flowers
I pick to place in
an emerald vase
bends under the weight of snow
fallen in the night

a serene painting
white on white
not the red
of plums that will ripen
when we meet in autumn

I admire the flowers
the faintest tick of snow
against the window
red roses sprinkled
on a white duvet

Nightfall - I approach the house. Through the lit window I see a man in a cashmere jumper, a woman in a white evening dress with a string of pearls around her neck. Her hair the black of a raven’s wing, her lips painted scarlet. They sit side by side in front of the piano, playing Mozart with two hands – their free hands around each other’s waists. Discarded outer clothes in a heap beside the fire. On a table, an open bottle of red wine and two glasses . . . I stand watching these two people immersed in each other. They’re friends of mine, arrived early for dinner. I’d left the door open when I went to gather the blossoms for a table piece. They’ve let themselves in – two people playing solely for each other.

by Patricia Prime
Auckland, New Zealand

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