Life Spring

after Kotaro Takamura

This earth is spring-green
Again, rain falls, blue as sky,
Its lush splatter stirring
A rumor of life.

Anxious, the heart trembles;
The spirit flickers, spreads
Trenchant wings for flight.
Returned to inception,
From dying to rebirth, time’s hands
Ellipsed past two, past three, like fragile
Leaflets verdant on a branch. This day,
As before, the spirit quickens
From its cocooned silence –

And suddenly joy consumes me in tears,
My heart holds you as if
In embrace.

You are the half that completes me.
You cup the grail of my faith.
You bear my cross of sufferings.
You are to me everything,

My tongue had tasted
The salt of loneliness.
My heart had plumbed
The abyss of desolation.
But you, you were the one
Who fathomed my life.
You were the one.

I had charted my labyrinth, through
Testaments of grasses and trees.
But you, you were the one
Who compassed me like the ocean.
You are everything, this smile, this dimpled life,
This life variegate with richness,
Banished of all emptiness.

Traversing this world,
I’d unwound my own path,
With no one to take my hand
Save those who understood
Of me only a pittance.

But I no longer lament that loneliness,
In this natural, inevitable solitude, finding

But without you –

No, inconceivable, impossible
To even begin to imagine it.
You are to me everything,

In you springs love’s immensity.
If no one else existed in this world,
Through you I would still breathe life’s
Fervent breath, embrace it, celebrate it,
Casting all aside to immerse myself
In that deep spring of life, in you.

Spring then, reborn, to me.
You are, you will be for me
Everything, everything.


  1. The Chieko poems chart the Japanese artist Kotaro Takamura's relationship with Chieko Naganuma, herself an iconoclastic artist - their attraction, separation, marriage, her illness and death. Ultimately, they are a testament to the power of love.

    My adaptations complement the work of talented translators - such as Leanne Ogasawara, Paul Archer and John G. Peters - to whom I owe great thanks.

    Short link -

    This labor is also being done to highlight the relief efforts of the Red Cross, and other agencies, in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Please help if you can...

    • US - Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10
    • Canada - Text ASIA to 30333 to donate $5

  2. It's interesting to read how everything goes and becomes in this piece... a most celebrated life indeed. 'Spring then, reborn, to me. You are, you will be for me..Everything, everything..' and so on and on....a lovely song to my ear. Thanks for the poem.

    Good day.


  3. this is a beautiful love you is very lyrical to the ears when read and love the way the words sound when placed a bit different than usual...really well done

  4. Artful poetry. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Inspiring work, Sam. Your poem is also a testament to the power of love. Amazing.

  6. I love your thoughtful reflective tributes and the way you make the reader part of ( in this case ) the beautiful love story of Chieko and Kotaro's spring time

  7. Anonymous5:40:00 AM

    Simply gorgeous - your words transported me :)

  8. In translation, you make the work your own. Spring and life and hope eternal. Dum spiro sperocourses throughthis powerfullove song. Exquisite, Sam.

  9. Wow defintely in interesting write
    Your words ring through with such height

  10. A beautifully written piece that transported me into the subjects time and space.

  11. I almost thought of this poem like a story telling. For a moment I wish the contentment of having that person to share your life with would not end. I was glad that there was no area of 'but' in the end. Thanks for the experience. I felt you.

  12. This is as deep as it is gentle and, lovely.

    What a wonderful way of expressing emotions at their deepest level and, at their heighest heights. Your words flowed as does a stream.

  13. I am so grateful you tweeted me and led me back here to your beautiful poetry. Lovely!


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