Is yearning the disconsolate sigh deep inside the crimson heart of the rosebud, heard only by the waiting butterfly? Is yearning the lone silver tendril that wraps around a reluctant sunbeam as fevered breath shivers in the arms of a winter night? Or is yearning the bent crease of an origami moon that watches its reflection in the depths of a single star-flecked tear?
Would that this, our world,
Might be ever as it is!
What a lovely scene!
See that fisherwoman’s boat,
Rope-drawn, rowed along the beach.
(by Kamakura no Udaijin in Clay MacCauley’s translation of the anthology Hyakunin Isshu-93)
Or, perhaps, yearning is just time bent eight different ways to make portable skies, with acquiescent clouds of tomorrows and yesterdays, that smell of crushed strings of jasmine and flutter like the golden patterns of woven silk sarees in the uncertain lamp light.
inside the cuckoo’s song
wet moonlight stains
on new mango leaves