Sunday, October 06, 2013

Of a Cold Day in October and Smileys for Dinner

Early October,
a bleak, wet Sunday evening
deep frying smileys for dinner
the kids in the bylane outside the house
playing marbles are gone.
They're there every day
come daylight and shine,
the little ones to the bigger ones,
even the young father with
the five month old child.
On my phone atop the fridge
Springsteen plays
his harmonica and sings
of a meanness in this world.
The french fries sizzle in the pan
browning nicely,
the smiles held in by the hot oil -
fixed, fake, plastic.
I think to myself that's not how life works,
for into every life a little rain
must fall on and off
and the smiles don't stay in place
all the time.


  1. My life in vain.
    My looks, talents faded
    like these cherry blossoms
    paling in the endless rains
    that I gaze out upon, alone.

    1. This something you wrote yourself or are you quoting some Japanese poet again, Loch?

  2. No, no. I did not write that! I am not that good.

    I was quoting Ono no Komachi (c. 825 – c. 900) of Japan. She is well known and I like that poem from Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (100 poets, 1 poem each). Since you wrote something about rain, I wanted to share that multi-layered poem by her with you. Of course translation will never do justice to the original waka.

    1. Awwww, and I here was thinking we're finally making a poet of you. Kidding :D
      You just got me wondering - are you now that conversant in Japanese that you can read and appreciate all these poems in the original?

  3. I always seem to give you the wrong impression but it keeps the conversation going! No, I am not conversant in Japanese. I was just making a general statement. Translations are always a poor carbon copies of the original. They can never do justice to the nuances particular to that language and culture.

    In the poem by Ono No Komachi, what is unsaid is just as important as what she has written. By using the typical self denial and self-abnegation so common in Japanese women, I believe she is mocking men who only look at the superficial aspects of women but she knows that she is in full command and control of her poetic prowess. This is just one aspect of the many layers in that poem.

    1. Very deep that.
      I don't mean to be contradictory but I woudn't exactly say Translations are always a poor carbon copies of the original. Some, though a very rare few, are as good as the original, methinks.