Four Poems For Robin

Siwashing It Out Once in Suislaw Forest

I slept under rhododendron
All nightblossoms fell
Shivering on a sheet of cardboard
Feet stuck in my pack
Hands deepin my pockets
Barelyableto sleep.
I rememberedwhen we were in school
Sleeping together in a big warm bed
We were the youngest lovers
When we broke up we were still nineteen
Now our friends are married
You teachschool back east
I dont mind living this way
Green hills the long blue beach
But sometimes sleeping in the open
I think backwhen I had you.

A Spring Night in Shokoku-ji

Eight years ago this May
We walked under cherry blossoms
At night in an orchard in Oregon.
All that I wanted then
Is forgotten now, but you.
Here in the night
In a garden of the old capital
I feel the trembling ghost of Yugao
I remember your cool body
Naked under a summer cotton dress.

An Autumn Morning in Shokoku-ji

Last night watching the Pleiades,
Breath smoking in the moonlight,
Bitter memory like vomit
Choked my throat.
I unrolled a sleeping bag
On mats on the porch
Under thick autumn stars.
In dream you appeared
(Three times in nine years)
Wild, cold, and accusing.
I woke shamed and angry:
The pointless wars of the heart.
Almost dawn. Venus and Jupiter.
The first time I have
Ever seen them close.

December at Yase

You said, that October,
In the tall dry grass by the orchard
When you chose to be free,
"Again someday, maybe ten years."

After college I saw you
One time. You were strange.
And I was obsessed with a plan.

Now ten years and more have
Gone by: I've always known
where you were--
I might have gone to you
Hoping to win your love back.
You still are single.

I didn't.
I thought I must make it alone. I
Have done that.

Only in dream, like this dawn,
Does the grave, awed intensity
Of our young love
Return to my mind, to my flesh.

We had what the others
All crave and seek for;
We left it behind at nineteen.

I feel ancient, as though I had
Lived many lives.
And may never now know
If I am a fool
Or have done what my
karma demands.

by Gary Snyder

Comments (8)

Stunning write, thank you so much Gary. I will be reading more of your fine pen.
Watch what you wish for... Ur poem inspired me to want more. Not materialistic but the truth. Was that too much to ask?
Beautifully envisioned poems woven around the memoirs of perhaps first love and the loved one from whose life the poet walked out when he was 19 though he could never forget her. Thanks for sharing.
Soul-searching. A Dirge dedicated to what appears to be his only love that he ended and regrets but not enough to reach out to her. Some of his verses are so piercing- - - - - ] Last night watching the Pleiades, Breath smoking in the moonlight, Bitter memory like vomit Choked my throat.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -] I remember your cool body Naked under a summer cotton dress.
full of regret, universal imagery, resonates deeply
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