If you wait until the end comes, friend—
the end of the world, I mean—
to pick up a book and read,
you will never find out
how love and lust,
though cousins, differ,
and why one is far superior to the other.
Luck may sometimes nudge you in the right direction,
toward love and not toward lust,
but how lucky can you be if you are not a reader?
Crouching in her cave
she gulps wine mixed
with sugars from the date and fig,
wine that burns like fire.
Bonds of frailty hold her fast.
Outside, in the garden of good and evil,
flowers big as moons bloom so bright
they appear to be burning flares,
but she cannot see them.
In her cave, all is darkness,
yet she seems to hear a voice read words
older than the prophets:
“Though our outer nature is wasting away,
our inner nature is being renewed every day.”
Does she dare to hope?
Moonrise at Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, Southern California
Yosa Buson’s haiku about pear blossoms and moonlight inspires me to write a new haiku:
White blossoms of the pear
and a woman in moonlight
reading a letter.
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