Winter Comes

after Kotaro Takamura

Winter comes,
An icy dagger, crystalline,

A crack pierces
The distance, like a rifle’s sharp

Muffled sobs,
Shaking the frosted heart
Of morning.

Suddenly, life,
Unfathomable, is upended,
A bitter fool.

We call this by any other name
But love.

Despot winter,
Armed with treachery and lies.
Winter comes.


  1. The Chieko poems chart the life of Japanese artist Kotaro Takamura's with Chieko Naganuma, an iconoclastic woman artist - their attraction, separation, marriage, her illness and death, and ultimately, the power of love.

    This interpretation complements the work of talented translators - such as Leanne Ogasawara, Paul Archer and John G. Peters - to whom I owe my 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. thoughtful of you.

    well done.

    amazing poetry,

    share 1 to 3 random poems with our poetry potluck today,

    Hope to see you in.

  3. winter finds us, just like the season, when life upends us...we can count on it...but rarely see it coming...

    nice hit on the relief efforts as well sam

  4. Absolutely great poem.
    Feels staccato but is even better because of it.

  5. Stark as the heart of winter--the sound elements are especially strong and effective. It's always hard for me to see the soft side of winter--the side you show here seems much more real.

  6. And thank you for turning off that hideous new word verification. My eyes are already hurting from those who haven't and the multiple tries at understanding blogger gibberish.

  7. Very enjoyable Samuel! Nust be some synchronicity at work here as I wrote on Winter too!

    I like your tempo and rhythm very much and your descriptives of Winter that projected images in my mind!

    I also resonated to the last line:

    "Despot winter,
    Armed with treachery and lies.
    Winter comes."

    Kudos Samuel!

    Roger ☺

  8. The starkness of the language belies its descriptiveness --beautifully done!


  9. Lovely, Sam-- cleanly drawn, wonderfully compressed imagery-- I love especially: Encumbered,
    We call this by any other name
    But love.


  10. Sharp imagery... I can hear the sound of winter and feel it...I especially love "shaking the frosted heart/Of morning"

  11. Winter and animals seem to be the theme of the day. No one honors the tradition any better than you do Sam. How I love the Asian forms. They require fierce mental acuity and you always achieve it. Wonderful!

  12. Anonymous8:10:00 AM

    This gave me a chill! Precise and stab-like words make for a truly cold feeling poem. Excellent!

  13. Beautiful and vivid, nicely done :)


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