Paul Hartal


Carnation Bridge With a Missed Conversation


Murasaki Shikibu,
Poet and novelist,
Lady- in-Waiting
To Empress Shoshi,
Your classic story,
The Tale of Genji,
Absorbs and enchants.

Oh,
My Dear Lady-in-Waiting,
How I would like
To discuss with you
your magnum opus.

Alas, no address,
No phone,
Not even an email.

And, besides, you wrote
Your riveting tale
A thousand years ago,
In a faraway island,
Yonder on Honshu,
In the Land of the Rising Sun,
Where the snow-capped
Mount Fuji admires
Its majestic reflection
In Lake Yamanaka.

Now a wild carnation
And a new wisteria
Under a blue sky build
An ethereal bridge
Of the mind
In the garden.

The sound of flute
Says farewell
To a drifting boat
On the river.

Submitted: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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