Winter …

Winter–in the eleventh month
Snow falls thick and fast.
A thousand mountains, one color.
Men of the world passing this way are few.
Dense grass conceals the door.
All night in silence, a few woodchips burn slowly
As I read the poems of the ancients.

–Ryokan (Japan, 1758-1831)

Winter bamboo, Mt. Tremper, New York, 2015

Winter approaches …

We’re in the deep-freeze here in New York, just in time for winter, which officially starts next week.  The poetry of Ryōkan (Japan, 18th century) calls for my attention:

“Returning to my hermitage after a journey
to distant mountain villages;
Along the fence, the last chrysanthemums linger”

–translated by John Stevens

“Midwinter,” reduction woodcut, 2011.