English poetry

Poems in English

Pearls

Pearls

And so I look back
Still thinking of her
With painful heart,
This clench of inner flesh.

-Kakinomoto Hitomaro
from Manyoshu

*

Praise the irritant, that genesis,
Implanted within the soft
And malleable animal that bore you.

*

Your brethren strung around my neck,
Dangling from my earlobes.
The imperfections the jeweler slights, I praise.

*

Artifact of a biological process,
Why do we expect
Symmetry from a grain of sand?

*

Praise the oblong beauty
Of you, solidified raindrops,
Your stony quietude.

*

Let me praise the waters that bestow
Your milky luster,
Worshipped to ensure a bountiful hunt.

*

Manyoshu poems praised the ama,
Female divers, who collected you,
As gently as quail eggs.

*

Let me rub you against my teeth to test
The veracity of you, roll you
Around my tongue to weigh your heft.

*

The heart clenches, hides its moon
Among clouds. Would that I, too, could build
A radiant world around a bitter nucleus.



Poem Pearls - Bernadette Geyer