Poetry of the rice fields

transplanting rice

she complains
about her heartless lover

to a scarecrow
a head

sweat trickling down her back

she watches him
in the rice field

a shadow lands,
then an egret
another shadow, another egret

first summer rain

the smell of want
the smell of soil

ankle-deep in water
she giggles —
covering his face

It is.

it is the interlude between winter and spring,
not warm enough for green,
not cold enough for grey,
an amorphous pearl hanging motionless
from the soft neck of infinity,
this is a separate season,
layers of cold huddling round trees
pretending to be warm,
the tepid light falling like snow
from the eye of a desultory sun,
it is the entr’acte between love and everything else,
not long enough for a ballad of ache,
not wrong enough for a masquerade,
a blemished poem sighing wordless
in the broken arms of complexity,
there is a separate reason,
for dissonance can grow to fill
any space between yes and no,
for distrust can paint green as grey
till the fog can shift no more,

it is the punctuated quiet,
it is the staccato scream,
it is this purgatory between now and
ever after.