gurdymonkey: (Default)
But only because I prefer not to count anything I write in response to someone else's poem as part of the challenge.

Whispered friendly words
Drift like mist through a forest,
Causing one to smile.
As one journeys from the cave,
To rejoice in bright kindness...

     ----Date Saburou Yukiie

After long silence,
A long hoped for message comes,
Brightening the day.
The mountain passes open:
It is truly spring at last.

For those not in the know, this gentleman and I began trading poetry back in 2004. At some point, it turned into an "courtship" between our two personae. He's been out of the game for a bit, then we reconnected recently on Facebook. Today he popped up on the Tousando. Yep. I missed the big lug.
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Since it's not a bad distance away, I drove over to Dharma Trading in San Rafael this morning as I needed some gold paint and some dye for my Twelfth Night projects. My genius idea of using a commercial resist on the silk jacquard isn't going to work because the resists are designed to work with paint-on dyes. No biggie and I'm glad I got to find out about it before I tried it and had it not work.  I may simply "reserve" the roundels on the karaginu in white by using thinned white paint for a subtle, washy effect. I also found out that they're hosting a workshop on indigo dyeing with Yoshiko Wada, Sunday 11/13. If I day-trip Cynagua Mists War, I could do that. (Indigo dyeing is just not gonna happen at the 2065 Club because I do not have the space to do it for real, but I'd be interested to go and maybe ask Ms. Wada to sign my copy of her shibori book.)  EDIT: I just called to register and the lady at Dharma said they may have to change the date, so she's supposed to call me back once she knows. I'll share the info in case anyone else local is interested.

Hit Black Oak Books on my way back south - while not as disorganized as it was when it first opened, it's still not terribly organized (WHAT, I ask you are The Canterbury Tales doing in the Mythology/Folklore section?). That said, I found a nice little hardcover book on Gagaku from the 1970s with lots of photos of costumes, musical instruments and so forth and a lovely poetry anthology from Shambhala Press called Only Companion: Japanese Poems of Love and Longing.  Why yes, I did take the opportunity to mention it on the Tousando. Why no, I did not scan a minimum of 20 pages out of it and gush about it being a must for one's collection. But that's just me. I will, however, repeat the Izumi Shikibu quote here because it's so evocative.

My black hair tangled
As my own tangled thoughts,
I lie here alone,
Dreaming of one who has gone,
Who stroked my hair till it shone.

And then there's this gem by Socho:

Now what can I do?
My writing hand in a cast
Is useless--
Can't manipulate chopsticks,
Can't even wipe my ass!

Now for a bite of lunch, then I should work on my class notes for a bit.
gurdymonkey: (ohno)

It was so perfect - horizontal stripes in two shades of rusty brown, navy and white. Except it wasn't, being a find on an unmarked bolt. It felt like it could be rayon, but who knows. It has not worn well. It keeps tearing on the weft, most notably under the arms, usually because the amount of "tension" caused by me raising an arm while the fabric is trapped by my obi is too much for it.

I had some scraps left. I patched it. Each time I patched it and wore it out to an event, it would just tear in a new spot. It happened again Saturday.

I really liked this kosode: it was comfortable and easy to wear - aside from the tearing bit - and very 16th c. townie.


Bonus random driveby tanka. (I don't know why I'm in the mood to write 'em, I just am.)

There will be no glimpse
Of a sake cup moon in
The sky tonight.
The fading light is cool, grey
And soft rain drips from the eaves.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Beneath the willow
He laments his loneliness
To the summer moon.
Alone too, I lie sleepless
All because of a bullfrog.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Finally silence,
Broken only by the drip
Of rain from the eaves.
Reluctant to cede its hold,
Winter shakes a stormy fist.


Feb. 7th, 2010 06:30 pm
gurdymonkey: (profile)
Poised elegantly
On one fragile leg, a crane
Waits near a dawn lake.
The rest of us flail and lean
Striving to find our balance.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
The shutters protest
An onslaught of winter winds
Blasting off the bay.
Even the moon has set and
Neighbors' lights seem far away.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Incense burns, heedless
Of the falling rain, or are
Those a thousand tears?
Memories like candle flame
Warm a chill autumn evening.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Earthbound, she listens
To a mockingbird as he
Tries out each new song.
If she could fly too, perhaps
She might sing as joyously.

(Little bugger sits WAY on top of the high tension wire stanchions running through our lot wailing away whenever I go out for my walks.)

Game on!

Jun. 10th, 2009 08:31 pm
gurdymonkey: (profile)
He: "The teeth now blackened
soft faces powdered whitely
to go moon viewing
Cherry blossoms all but gone
yet lingering for the moon"

Me: "She needs no powder
To dazzle a watcher's eye,
Nor garish garments.
The moon reduces her to
A wan child playing dress-up."

"Bright moon gazing, full,
resplendent in its glory,
can but turn away-
squinting at the lovely one
who sits on that porch, watching"

"Once more, misty clouds
Conceal moon and stars alike
From her searching gaze.
With no earthly suitor
There's no point in sitting up".

I've missed this. I've missed HIM. That Guy.The one I've never actually met in person, but who has, upon occasion, collaborated on an in-persona poetic courtship that has been a great deal of fun. Suffice to say, he's been off in the Provinces battling attacks of Real Life instead of brushing poems to a certain lady who doesn't duck behind the blinds with quite as much alacrity as is seemly.

If nothing else, his timing provides me with some excellent practice before my class at A&S.

(Do keep him and his family in your prayers. His mother is very ill.)

gurdymonkey: (profile)
Defiant birdsong
Batters at a sombre sky's
Cloudy defenses.
"Glower all you like," he cries.
"My branch is covered in buds!"
gurdymonkey: (profile)
There is no day so impossibly sucky that it cannot be instantly cured by a poem or three from an admirer. Tuesday was such a day.

A couple of years ago as part of the development of my Japanese persona, I began infecting various SCA e-lists with waka, a poem of five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables that became popular in the Heian period. I was thrilled when other people started writing them back.

Somewhere along the line, the friendly poetic conversations with a certain bushi from Aethelmearc turned into an in-persona courtship. For the record, we've never met in person and he's happily married to a very understanding lady who evidently enjoys reading what we write. Who knew romance-as-literary-exercise could be so much fun?

Date Saburou Yukiie's latest messages and Saionji no Hanae's replies will be up on my website some time this weekend. My poetry page has grown so large I've decided to bite the bullet and try to divide it up into smaller pages. EDIT - make that now. if you want to start at the very beginning. if you just want to see the new ones.

In the meantime, I'm still basking in the happy glow of "robes lined with gleaming sunlight."

gurdymonkey: (profile)
Fog veiling her cheeks
The sun abjures this dewdrop
Life and dons drab robes.
The mist's chill embrace gives no
Solace to one in exile.

I have infected a number of SCA lists, both bardic and non-bardic with this Japanese poetic form. I was simultaneously pleased and frustrated this week when the folks on the Outlands Bardic list started a tanka chain on winter themes. Pleased because they started it without my instigation, frustrated because they were all writing about snow and I just wasn't feeling inspired enough to jump in.

Then I went out on my break this morning for a walk around the block. It was cold, it was dank, the sun was hiding, and suddenly I had my image.....


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