.....With every falling petal,
The plum branches
With every falling petal: Buson (1716-1784), translated by Reginald Horace Blyth, in Haiku, vol. II: Spring, 1950
When all the blossoms are out, the plum-tree has a youthful aspect that hides its age, but as each petal falls, more of the black branch becomes visible, and the years are seen in the branches of the tree. At each moment, as each petal falls for ever to the ground, a vast and irrevocable amount of time passes. Each moment is felt as an age. (Blyth commentary)
Thirty years having passed imperceptibly as a moment in the falling of its petals, the old plum tree, now gnarled and bent, the remnants choked by ivy, this year somehow once again manages to put out blossoms to drift gently down like a miracle of spring snow upon the graves of the lost ones whose remains rest beneath its stunted limbs. And still here we are.
Plum: textured photo by Marie Wintzer, 21 February 2010