Wabi Sabi

Japanese tea house: reflects the wabi sabi aesthetic, Kenroku-n Garden

Japanese tea house: reflects the wabi sabi aesthetic, Kenroku-en Garden

if only i knew
what the artist knows

about the great perfection
in imperfection

i would sip grace slowly
at the ragged edges of the creek

kiss the pitted
face of the moon

befriend the sea
though it can be a danger

embrace the thunder of a waterfall
as if its strains were a symphony

prostrate myself atop the rank dregs on the forest floor,
worshiping them as compost for fertile seeds
and the breeding ground for a million small lives

if i knew what the artist knows,
then i wouldn’t be afraid to die,
to leave everyone

i would be sure that some part of me
would remain present
and that one day you would join me
as the wind howling on its journey
or the bright moment of a flowering desert

if i knew what the artist knows,
i would surely respond soul and body
to the echo of the Ineffable in rough earthy things

i would not fear decay or work left undone
i would travel like the river through its rugged, irregular channels
comfortable with this life; imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit ~ from Pictures section of OpenHistory under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.o Unported license

15 thoughts on “Wabi Sabi

  1. “if i knew what the artist knows,
    i would surely respond soul and body
    to the echo of the Ineffable in rough earthy things

    i would not fear decay or work left undone”

    These words have touched a cord with me. I want to finish everything. I want to please everyone and yes I worry about what people think of me. Especially with the emails from my fellow bloggers. I read int the morning and if I get behind I feel that I . . .i don’t know like I’m lacking as a blogger that a good blogger keeps up with fellow bloggers at the same time write and post. I get so wrapped up that I forsake my novel which is my true desire to work on. I need to follow your clue . . .
    “i would travel like the river through its rugged, irregular channels
    comfortable with this life; imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”

    Beautiful, touching and most enlightening poem Jamie.

    Like

  2. Found a book of Japanese Death Poems* (jisei) on the dining room floor. Hokushi died 1718, in the summer, when poppies bloom. He wrote:
    I write, erase, rewrite,
    erase again, and then
    a poppy blooms.
    (“Keshi” means ‘to erase’ as well as ‘poppy’.)
    (*compiled and introduced for Tuttle Publishing by Yoel Hoffmann)

    Like

      1. Dear Jamie, I’ve been very busy, but we haven’t lost contact. The day before I opened your post on Wabi-Sabi, I studies the same photo of that beautiful house you use as an illustration of your post. We still are synchronized! 🙂

        Like

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