between cherry blooms & rubber band waits spring

Leaning on the counter,
i fold paper boxes,
run my fingers over scraggy edges,
wrap them carefully to go
into the land of origami where the
cherry trees will soon start blossoming
& where a lady with dark eyes
will put ‘em back together,

worlds away, lost in the moment–
i think about the conversation
with Akio a few days ago, telling me
about the city’s power shortage,
that he has three dogs and
walks them, not in parks but

in the streets of Tokyo with
twelve.point.nine.eight.million people
living there– we smile

when we discover that
our birthday’s on the same day, same
year, different month though &
he hesitates a second as i ask how
they are doing now, after the earthquake–

in his eyes i see a country’s dignity,
well-anchored calm, respect & humble discipline
you can’t shake easily

i wrap elastic strap around the parcel,
tell the guy in the dispatch department
to be careful cause
there is a certain magic in the frugal
& there’s spring–

already on its way and
they’ll be lying under trees,
drinking cherry blooms with
winter wind still hanging on them,
and with warming lips spit hope
until the sky’s an ocean of blue tint
with Kanji sailing south,

& fears fall silent–

as i walk back to my desk,
hands still smelling of rubber &
the earth
beneath my feet is shaking–

just a bit


(Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the modern japanes writing system along with hiragana)

it’s OpenLinkNight at dVerse again and i’ll be serving Sake and candied Cherry blossoms behind the bar…hope to see you there…3 pm EST..


86 responses to “between cherry blooms & rubber band waits spring

  1. … 0h, do I ever feel what you are feeling in this poem … not all it, mind you, but much of it … come over to my place, C. … just for a minute or two … have a glass of Carlo Rossi with me … you’ll be alright … you strong woman, you … Love, cat.

  2. first, i think it is so cool the connections we make across the world, and how we are connected and when something happens to one it stays on our hearts…i really like the hope in this as well…and beautiful picture you paint for them…have fun tonight behind the bar…

  3. We are all so different. We all live different lives and yet, yes, we are all connected in unseen ways and it’s that connection and empathy which helps us to feel someone else’s sorrow or joy.
    Another really lovely write Claudia.

  4. My goodness, you have a way of painting pictures. I love how you move from inside your head to outside your head so effortlessly. You make it look easy, but the great ones always do.

    Thanks – Mosk

  5. The poem went a different direction than i thought it would’ve gone, such a great thing. The conversation and the contemplation of that person and that situation and the reflections spawned within you- love the feel to this. Really, felt the atmosphere. The number as words really, although minor to the poem, really struck me-love how it came out. Great job, Claudia

  6. I heard a melody when I read this. Like a soft flute announcing calmness within memories of past storms, and hope approaching like Spring, but with a little winter chill. So lovely Claudia.

  7. Claudia, I truly believe this one is my favorite of all your poems I have read to date! Sending pieces for origami to Japan and ending with the ground shaking slightly under your feet–wonderful metaphors for the bonds of friendship and the power they have to move us.

  8. Good to remind us that love is also friendship and vice verse, Claudia. You make the land and people of Japan very real here, and their beloved cherry trees as well. (my favorite line is that one at the end–about the breath of winter still on them) Lovely and expressive write.

  9. i want to lie under trees and drink cherry blooms with winter wind still hanging on them…

    this was a word painting, filled with life’s beautiful sadness.


  10. Oh the images… the origami folding, out into the dark eyes, the well anchored calm, the spit of hope, the cherry blossoms with winter still hanging on them…
    and then the shaking feet at the close.
    Simply stunning.
    One of my favs 🙂

  11. you can piece together a puzzle of a poem with no sweat… I’m waiting for spring myself… but with the super bi-polar weather Michigan is having, I’m getting warm sunny days between the freezing cold ones. hahah. great poem 🙂

  12. you touch a lot of senses in this one.

    i don’t know why, but the beginning, where you are folding boxes, and then it’s origami was grating, because i thought you were folding cardboard boxes, and then the image of folding cardboard origami was like chalk on a board. but, of course, that wasn’t what you meant, it’s just, that what i got out of it at first.

    which just goes to show that misinterpreting can be fun.

  13. Yesss, I can well identify with these global connections. Some Peeps I feel are as close as next door.

    And the world has become no larger than a basketball.

    Oh Claudia, THANK you (one of tose connections of whom I write–grin!

  14. Oh, you know I love this poem, Claudia….it brought me to tears.

    Yes, the simple pieces to be transformed, treasured, and the dignity of these people….but still it breaks my heart what has happened.

    Cherry blossom time starts in March and progresses across the land, like a tidal wave of scent and delicate color. Like a benediction that soothes the still-raw land.

    More than anything, Claudia, this time embodies for me the character of the Japanese people.

    You write such a simple and sensitive poem, here, and it goes to the essence of compassion, care.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Lady Nyo

  15. Beautiful–makes me think of ancient love poems where blossoms scent the air with fecund love and contemporary life where the smell of rubberbands and frugality rule, but the best part is the connection between the two people, two worlds, two time periods.

  16. Claudia, I love how you always manage to transport me to a place that is both familiar yet unknown to me. I want to drink some cherry blossoms, too. As always, amazing poetry.

  17. The image of walking three dogs through the city of Tokyo just strikes me as…well, with all those people–so much potential for someone to step in something!

  18. Beautiful tribute to the peeps who suffer that trembling and even though there is connection – one that is intimate and universal at the same time… You did it again, dear Frau, or I’d say you overcame your own muse with this great piece.


  19. Isn’t it something when you find similarities with someone that you never expected? We are all somehow connected, I think. If we sat and talked with any other person we would find them; and you are fortunate to have connected with Akio; and we all are fortunate to have connected with each other here in ‘the pub.’ A fine write, Claudia.

  20. Again, I love this, Claudia… especially:

    in his eyes i see a country’s dignity,
    well-anchored calm, respect & humble discipline
    you can’t shake easily

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  21. Lovely transportation. I could hear in my head: “Thank you for flying on Air Claudia!” Haha.
    This fed so many of my senses I am left puzzled, in a good way.
    I am completely falling in love with your style of writing…
    You strengthen my belief that one can make poetry out of anything (even rubber bands!) =)
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  22. and with warming lips spit hope
    until the sky’s an ocean of blue tint

    a purity of soul wrote that….holy moly Claudia…this is a wonderful piece 🙂

  23. I read this in the morning and I enjoyed the asian/japanese touches in your poem… love and understanding has no bounds…happy day to you ~

  24. Quite thoughtful Claudia… I think it’s important for us to remember these things. The Japanese are an incredibly strong willed and devoted people to nation, but even in the staunch rigor of their optimism and the stoic nature of their resolve, it is plain to see that many souls in Japan are struggling still in the aftermath of that earthquake. You have reminded me of my own humility, and the need to be prayerful for those who need us.

  25. Claudia- really lovely description of a very personal interaction, but revealing so much more. For me- it says a lot about the determination of the human spirit- how the ground is always shaking & for all of us. However, that being said- not all of us have the strength or balance to deal with life’s earthquakes with grace and composure

  26. Your sense of place and your place in it, centered and so alive to time and its unfolding: your poem spans time and space to bring closer the humanness of others, but also ourselves as you bring us into your gift to friends in need. The love you show in such small things captures not only the presence of those far away but your presence in their absence. This is a small act of love, but every act like this adds up in its selflessness.

  27. THe world has become so small…we are witnesses of that, and because of this we bear the pain of all. Beautiful rendering of this truth, Claudia.

  28. Cherry blossoms and rubber bands… both bring this friendship to life beautifully, Claudia. I love your reverence of the mundane. And I’ve left with a smile and a sense of what friendship means.

  29. Yes, a dignity that cannot be easily shaken, even by an earthquake…you have caught the Japanese spirit well, and such a beautiful friendship. Thank you.

  30. Never, ever, a false note in your poetry, Claudia. I felt the trembling beneath the feet, you describe, and the bond you feel with friends so far away…a beautiful, sensitive write…poignant, touching the heart with its sincerity. Thank you for the beauty :))

  31. Your style brings such a transparency to this verse that the connection to half a world away seems the most natural thing there could be. You go out and back effortlessly. You have a nimble mind and heart. And pen.

  32. Absolutely caught the feel of this and thanks for the reminder that the Japanese people are those of quiet dignity and grace. I lived in Washington D.C. for a year and the cherry blossoms lining the National Mall are how you described…to the T!

  33. You got me with this poem.

    It contains so many memory touchstones. Origami, cherry blossoms, rubber bands. It makes me think of my childhood and yet it is so modern and touches on the tragic with dignity and respect.

    Really lovely poem, thank you 🙂

  34. Claudia, you should be published. I imagine a collection of your poems, with this highly original narrative voice linking each poem together, and the underlying theme of the human condition, as it is found trapped in urban areas gathering momentum as one reads, until the book is complete, and reader can sit back and reflect on what he or she has learnt about the 21st Century.

  35. This speaks to my feelings about the common responsibility for the fate of all life on earth. And makes me believe I can smell rubber on my hands.

  36. Every time I journey here, Claudia, it’s such a pleasant awakening through the modern–and a very original engagement with it at that. Kerry’s right–your poems should be in print! Volumes and volumes. The other minds it would inspire…

    Hopeful, compassionate poetic boost for us today my friend. Good piece to wake up with.

  37. Hi! Claudia…

    I have to agree with the previous commenter it seems out Of the ashes…Spring “hope” from your… very poetic words…
    “already on its way and
    they’ll be lying under trees,
    drinking cherry blooms with
    winter wind still hanging on them,
    and with warming lips spit hope
    until the sky’s an ocean of blue tint
    with Kanji sailing south
    … from your…thoughts to share with your readership…Thanks,

    deedee 🙂

  38. I like how you showed us a powerful connection between people even though so far removed from what others sometimes go through…our feelings and empathy bring us together…those are universal.

  39. such enchanting writing Claudia … it’s hard not to be swept away … like others before me have said but it certainly bears repeating, you have a way of taking the everyday, the commonplace and making it rich, intriguing, worth a second and then another look – the imagination takes flight … very nice … you have become one of my favourite poets in the last few weeks and I try not to miss your work.

  40. poignant and beautifully penned tribute to the bonds of friendship and the endurance of hope in the face of adversity. I was really touched by this one Claudia.

  41. This is just beautiful, and I cant say anything more than what has already been said. It’s music, it’s a painting, and all the more.

  42. such a delightful sensitive portrait of another place another people, the detail of power shortages like a jolt-reminder there’s problems other places than just in our yard

    and, “drinking cherry blooms with
    winter wind still hanging on them” – mmmmmm

    and the descriptive of your friends eyes and his people’s manner…

    nice, and you could feel the earth beneath you, also shaking…

    wonderful claudia, thanks 😉

  43. There is nothing more solid than the earth under our feet, we think, until the earthquakes begin. Why are we always surprised? And it is our pride and hubris that builds all our constructs on shaky ground — because there is no other. There will come a year when the cherries do not blossom because the bees have gone silent. And the power shortages will become understood as demand longages. Your poems always make me think. And I love it when the rubber bands strike up a tune…