Octopus' Garden

Friday, July 07, 2006

TANABATA

Today, the Seventh Day of the Seventh Month, is Tanabata, the Japanese Star Festival.

Do you have a wish? Today is the day you should make it.

STAR FESTIVAL

I. Sumida River

Rice-paper lanterns bob
like sake-flushed faces,
drowsy old men, and the river
makes my ukata sleeves flutter.
Hand-painted fans slice
the heat, and chilled sushi
disappears into my mouth
from ivory chopsticks.
As the crowd of rented boats
nudge each other music
becomes confused--geisha
strumming her shamisen,
a kabuki actor singing.
Soon the firework artists,
Tamaya and Kagiya,
will have their contest--
thunder of geta shoes pounding
the sides of the boats
in judgment.

II. Orihime's Song

I came from mulberry trees
where farmers lined wooden
trays with fragrant straw.
A weaver girl, singing
to the sharp claps of shuttle,
drumming treadle, I made
silk cloth of worm thread.
But when you came, my loom
fell silent, we made love in
mulberry groves, intoxicated
as birds eating fermented
berries. And when the gods
watched us, they were jealous,
threw two stars into the sky.
I burn alone, but know you
feel my warmth, understand.
And for this one night I am
a woman and you will row across
the Milky Way to me. Impatient
to feel your fingers touch
my face, your mouth drink me,
to have you inside me again.

III. A Thousand Cranes

I go to the bamboo grove,
cut down a young tree
to set in front of my house.
For days I fold
rice paper cranes,
a thousand.
I string them together
with silk thread,
tie them onto the tree.
I write a tanka, a wish,
roll it into a scroll,
place it at the very top.
I am selfish.

Last night I dreamed a wish I thought I'd forgotten, and even this morning it was slow to evaporate, and so I will mix it into an indelible swirl of ink, like the dew from Taro leaves used to write the Tanabata wishes.

Do you have a wish? Today is the day to make it.

Write your wishes in the comment box below, and dive into a chilly river of stars.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 12:46 PM

3 Comments:

I wish that T. will kiss me again. The next time might not be as surprising as the first time had been, but maybe if I'm not so surprised I might even kiss back next time.

Luminous
Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 AM  
I wish that once each summer love would solidify into small fluttering, glowing shapes that I could catch in glass canning jars. I'd give jars to my friends for their birthdays and keep one on my windowsill.

Mirabella
Anonymous mirabella, at 8:09 PM  
I wish I could learn happiness.
Blogger Radish King, at 11:53 PM  

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