Last Rhapsody

Does the last autumn leaf on the naked bough, still shed a cold tear for a lost green dream, before it plummets into a rotting heap of russet lies? Is the river, its mouth open to the breath of the sea, still hearing a song from a faraway bank, where the notes danced with it, hand in hand, over the moss-dressed stones? Is all life one plaintive poem about a lurking ache that has no form and no name?

The colour of flowers
has faded indeed
in vain
have I passed through the world
while gazing at the falling rains.
(by Ono no Komachi in Prof. Mostow’s translation of the anthology Hyakunin Isshu-9)

Somewhere, in the sun soaked corridors of hope, did a trembling hand once hide, behind the seven-hued arches, little pots of dark regret? Perhaps to serve as the ebony keys that would complete a song bird’s rhapsody, if only for a single waiting ear.

between smudged lines
a voice holds out a hand
hoping to be rescued

Linked to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai where the prompt asks for a haiku/tanka that inspired us as well as an all-new haiku to go with it.
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14 thoughts on “Last Rhapsody

  1. I love the idea of life itself being one plaintive poem about a lurking ache without name or form… This captures for me the beauty and the melancholy that sometimes attends it. The heart-open way of holding it all…

    Michael

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  2. Yes, I can’t help think that all poetry is a yearning to put the unnameable, the unspeakable into words. Long may we keep trying – especially when the words are as beautiful as yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In another era you would have been leading a group of poets across far-distant lands on journeys in quest of lines. I would be tagging along, hoping to catch some of that magic. And you do write in magical ways, make no mistake.

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