Karl Bachmann

1. Wind-blown poet At the tea house; women pour Water into bowls.
2. She lives beyond The hustle-bustle. Spring, transience, An evening face.
3. The past drips From peach blossoms of our suffering. Cool sunlight.
4. Magic lantern— She takes you in, & jests about Something dirty.
5. Burning grass; The wine-stained moon above Is a stray cat.
6. Birds bicker by The water. But when I shout, they flutter away, Become silent.
7. In the hot spring alone; An evening pool reflects Shironesan. The sway of dark trees.
8. Peach blossoms Softly fall. Kanazawa; a city of memories. The sky a ghost.
9. A notebook’s scrawl. The Italian girl with a long ponytail Makes me homesick.
10. I sip fresh coffee, & gather stars in a basket. The moon; huge.
11. Sleepy evening; I sit still for an hour or two & the sky burns.
12. The shining waves. I never thought I’d find her here By the old wisteria.
13. I think of Narihira; “You haven’t changed, have you? Still like the ladies!”
14. She held a peach Upon a napkin. Cello in a jazz bar; Six Siamese cats.
15. Spring. A wind- chime’s song reminds one of Chilly autumn.
16. Wake up! A cat plays with a fallen blossom as a Girl looks.
17. Light & shadow; Is that her silhouette by the shrine Of deliverance?
18. At sunset the sky Is pink, blue & orange. An artist’s Inks are changed.
19. Yellow, green Matcha & a ripe banana in a retro-theater Across town.
20. Red lanterns. I wait for a friend before the matsuri; A rain cloud.
21. Swans glide Upon still water beneath the peach Blossoms.
22. Evening rain Small tawny window I look out. A melody—
23. Sleepy moon The sound of footsteps are the drip-drops Of a faucet—
24. I remember Your French heart; the eagle’s arc, Her yukata.
25. White Peach of The pavilion; I hear a whistle in the elms. Gorgeous girl.
26. Down, down The stone steps to the temple of healing. —Two crows.
27. A girl’s reflection Evening mirror. Off in the mountains A fire still burns.
28. The water; glassy Stretches out. A soul stirs with Tiny, tiny ripples.
29. A slender wrist, Nascent moon. Do even blossoms Long for home?
30. I took a moment To reflect. Silence; moonlit lake. Ah, last embers.
31. Water, fire— In these gaps I listen; the rustling pines & a stillness.
32. Silver wheel. The edges of a dark cloud ignite; Golden bird.
33. How do we heal? Deep breaths—a woman bathes beneath the moon. This floating life.
34. Spring sparrows; The old Italian café is nearly deserted. A girl’s laughter.
35. Purple & orange Kerchief. Grace walks in a foggy valley. I sit still, sit still.
36. Steam among Hell-stones leading up the hill—the way A dusky path.
37. Gold leaf beneath Her eyes. The cosmic wheel, Cool spring rains—
38. Izumi Shikibu. I think of you this moonlit New Year’s Eve, A small pain—
39. Peach blossoms, Eternal; the exit somewhere beyond our Worldly struggle.
40. Morning of pearl, Serene wave of vermillion. A dusty moth Floats before us.
41. Peach Pavilion— The Sun King sits on his purple zabuton. Two sisters laze.
42. Her blue eyes Gaze across a sunset lake. The water is Otherworldly.
43. A deep dreamless Sleep falls over the poet—evening Of rain & memory.
44. Girl of silence & restful sleep, during the plum rains; A dog in heat.
45. A bird lifts & floats upon the casual caress Of spring—
46. I sit still Beneath dark, dark blossoms—not A word.
47. A moment alone— Who speaks first? I give her three Bags of peach tea.
48. Morning Enveloped in her perfume, I can barely Move—
49. Issa, let us go. We climb the stairs to the abandoned temple; A cicada’s cry.
50. An artist pauses; Shadows remind of death In murky twilight.
Karl Bachmann is a poet-philosopher, world traveler, & aficionado of East Asian cultures. He studies—or makes use of six languages, & enjoys engaging-philosophical-debate. “How much of fiction is history, & how much of history is fiction?” he asks in our fast-food nation, only to be told, “human connections are weak.” He of course replies, “I always do my best to make it otherwise.” In the last twenty years he has visited four countries outside of the United States. He enjoys tea ceremony & shodō, silent-reflection & long walks into the sunset.
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