“Winds of Sorrow”

“Winds of Sorrow”
(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

My beloved kiku lay in withered waste
Yet their ivory tears still fall
Drift against the sides of my heart
Winter’s woeful weeping

In the northernmost climes
The bitter wind howls in my soul
Frigid lamentations haunt me
Hokkaido’s kanashimi no kaze

Winds of sorrow have frozen me in place
My mind flees on grey heron’s wings
Far away from this futile life
From this land of sadness

There is only whiteness
The aimlessness of a long life
Poorly lived, poorly loved, a life
Bereft of meaning, bereft of color

I can no longer remember the sun
The green of konara copse gone
Faded as the ferns have faded
Spring grass now dusky dun

Memories of flowers
Cause my heart to seize in my chest
There are no more lotus blossoms
Only shifting shadows on lifeless pond

Past the willows, past the stream, bamboo groves
Stand dead and haunted as yurei
Beat strange tattoos on hollow husks
Disappear in darkness

My hut is deserted
Now a silent chill resides there
Only empty bed and one chair
At the table where I broke bread alone

No matter where my mind takes me there is
A sense of a world in mourning
Earth comes to a stop, all life gone
Naught left but winter’s tears

And yet I still endure
Wake each day to a barren world
Pass my time in haze of regrets
Wait for callous night with its numbing dreams

And yearn for winter’s end
Which never comes

16 thoughts on ““Winds of Sorrow”

    1. Thank you, kind Reena. I was in a very introspective mood tonight when I wrote this piece. Sometimes the sadness takes the stage and demands an audience, you know? It’s good to write it out, and hope that tomorrow I’ll have a happier poem to write. Thanks for reading and, as always, thanks for your kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Mark. Thanks for the nice words. I really like the sense of austerity in Japanese poetry and I find it a good metaphor for my life to a great degree. It’s a way to superimpose my own feelings onto the landscapes Basho and others wrote about, the simplicity of living, closeness to nature, and how basic emotions can be so powerful against a natural backdrop. It’s sort of a tribute to those great masters and what they wrote about. The image of the lonely, empty hut is just so powerful to me and describes so eloquently how I feel at this point in my life. Anyway, it’s inspiring to me. I appreciate your kind comments. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, David. I wish I had more experience with happiness so I could expand my scope. 😀 Oh well. “Write what you know,” right? I always appreciate your comments and look forward to reading your poetry on your blog. I learn something new every time you post a new piece. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pain and sorrow evoke the most beautiful poetry. Your words prove this. The most difficult part of pain is the guilt and regrets. One should never have them. If you allow it, they bleed you of hope, joy, and all logic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Terveen. You’re correct, of course, regarding guilt and regret. Writing about these things is therapeutic and they really do lend themselves to introspective poetry. One reason I write is to help me deal with depression, and it’s a godsend at times. Lancing wounds is painful but it promotes healing. I truly appreciate your kind comment. Thanks so much for taking time to read this piece. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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