Beside the mountain path,
somehow so appealing,
violets in bloom.
– Basho (1644-1694)
Cherry blooms are falling-
and now between the trees,
a temple appears.
– Buson (1715-1783)
Again, the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown!
The green ones have come from the other world,
tipsy like the breeze up to some new foolishness.
Again, near the top of the mountain
the anemone’s sweet features appear.
The hyacinth speaks formally to the jasmine,
“Peace be with you.” “And peace to you, lad!
Come walk with me in this meadow.”
Again, there are sufis everywhere!
The bud is shy, but the wind removes
her veil suddenly, “My friend!”
The Friend is here like water in the stream,
like a lotus on the water.
The narcissus winks at the wisteria,
“Whenever you say.”
And the clove to the willow, “You are the one
I hope for.” The willow replies, “Consider
these chambers of mine yours. Welcome!”
The apple, “Orange, why the frown?”
“So that those who mean harm
will not see my beauty.”
The ringdove comes asking, “Where,
where is the Friend?”
With one note the nightingale
indicates the rose.
Again, the season of Spring has come
and a spring-source rises under everything,
a moon sliding from the shadows.
Many things must be left unsaid, because it’s late,
but whatever conversation we haven’t had
tonight, we’ll have tomorrow.