Kyoto Botanical Gardens

All posts tagged Kyoto Botanical Gardens

The Geisha’s Song

Published May 22, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I couldn’t find
my way among
the trees so
I turned back–
the darkness,
an old friend,
welcomed me.

It took my hand
and lead me down
the garden path
and I was patient
in the moonlight,
for the first time,
I was patient.

I’ve loved so
many things
the singing birds,
the summer sky,
the coneflowers
but most of all
the weeping
cherry blossom tree
that sheltered
everything but me.

I’ve lost you
but most of all
I’ve lost myself
because we shared
so many things–
the falling leaf,
the polished stone,
the tall grasses.

I’ll look for you
again, someday,
but not today–
today I’ll write
a poem and paint
a picture of the moon
and dream of gardens
where flowers never bloom.Geisha


Published March 21, 2013 by rlmcdermott

there is a wildness in flowers
that cannot be restrained

green goes to yellow
and what is lost returns
a thousand times a day

coneflowers will not obey
the rules and return as roses
in the middle of a sunny afternoon

melodies remembered
as one song return again
half forgotten half remembered

this is how I feel
where did we meet
so long ago
that I cannot forget

was I young
was I beautiful
was I full of hope

did you turn
around too quickly
leave too suddenly
stay too long
were we lovers
in a distant garden
talking of cherry blossoms
the weather
a favorite song

the flowers know their fate
they keep it to themselves
they linger by the roadside
and leave at dawn
I’ve stayed too long

I thought that I would
come again this spring
but death stepped in
and took someone too young
it wasn’t me
I stayed behind
I grieve for him

and this is what I know of life
it’s all we have
the good
the bad
are all the same

we’ll meet again
it is our fate
and like the cherry blossom tree
we’ll shed our memories
to love once more
to speak to strangers
on a sunny day
to smile to pause
and then to walk awayWildflowers

Late Bloomers

Published August 22, 2012 by rlmcdermott

if I told you I’d be there

would you find
the wooden bench
the white camellias
the cherry tree
would you ask my name again
and lift your face into the sun–
exactly as you did that day

would we walk along the garden path
beneath the overarching trees
and listen to the insect’s song
the thrum of things so small
that only lovers hear their
extracorporeal hum

we are too late for love
too late for all the silly things
the longing
the sweet regret
the silences
the sudden rush of words
and yet we’re here
too old to hold each other’s hand
too young to walk apart

if I told you I’d be there

would I wait alone
beneath an autumn sun
would I look up and see you there
beside me on the wooden bench
a white camellia in your hand

Kyoto Botanical Garden

Published June 1, 2012 by rlmcdermott

What kind of trees
were they that
broke the color–

all tall and green
and dancing
in the slow sunlight
of an April afternoon?

Women in blue
kimonos stood
beneath the
delicate branches
snapping pictures
digital and bright.

Children played,
young mother’s
strolled, stooped
old men finished
with their lives
sat on stone benches.

An artist crouched
in a flower bed
like a wounded animal;
linen canvas stained
with a furious red.

I had come here to meet a
god and found instead a man.

We are not seen by the people we love,
but are loved by the people who see us.

That afternoon,
five thousand miles
from my home,
someone saw me
and asked where
I was from in
perfect English.