Spring Bridge

Today is Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub. Gabriella has given us four of her photos. We are to choose one and write a haibun to it. Please come and visit us! Four photos + great poets = endless possibilities! http://dversepoets.com/2016/02/01/haibun-monday-6/

Spring Bridge
After two years, we both had time to take a trip together.  Without any debate, we decided on England and then to your home of Hakone in Japan.  I had places to share with you in England, you had places to share there as well including Oxford Town and University.  I wanted to explore their school of Anthropology and you wanted to show me where you had boarded and studied as a medical student.

April in England is beautiful but April in England shared by two lovers is magic.  We drove from Heathrow – you a careful and precise driver, me giving you a hard time about being a Crazy Asian Driver.  You laughed and when it was safe, would lean over to give me a kiss or make the car swerve in its lane while you sang alternating between “Call Me” and “I May Be Crazy”.  No surprise, it began to rain.  We timed our singing to the windshield wipers and I played the console like bongo drums.  By the time we rolled into Oxford, we were hoarse and sedate.  After checking into our hotel, we ate dinner in the hotel restaurant and went upstairs to bed.  We sang again and did a small dance in the shower until soap got into my eyes….”When your heart’s on fire, you must realize, soap gets in your eyes…” you crooned as you washed my eyes clear of the soap.

The next day after breakfast we went exploring.  We rented bicycles and rode all around the university.  You pointing the various buildings to me, and reverently, we went into the Bodlean Library.  I wanted to clap with delight but respected the ancient silence.  From there we went to the Cairns Library where you came across a former professor who was delighted to see you again.  He took us to lunch and the two of you talked while I respectfully listened.  I loved the glow in your eyes and the respect the professor had for you.  A Ploughman’s Lunch with a malty ale – and heaven help us, a wonderful dessert with a horrible name – Spotted Dick.

A sudden April torrent began making rivers of the gutters; people continuing on their business under big black brollies.  We went back inside to drink coffee and talk and as quickly as it began, the rain ended.  We walked our bikes back to the hotel and crossing over a stone bridge, the usually sedate stream now raucously bubbling and running under the bridge to who-knows-where.  We stood in the middle of the bridge looking down at the water.  You leaned across the bikes to tip my face up to yours.  “Make a wish.  If you make it in Japanese, it will come true.”  I had to think a bit. My mind swirled like the water beneath us until finally I said, “Itsumademo issho ni itai.”  The silence between us deepened – sound of the water, birds chirping, bells from the University, distant traffic.  You took my face in hands and put your forehead on top of my head.  “itsumademo issho ni itai.”  you repeated.

But I must have said it wrong. Or maybe the rain washed away the wish.   For years now, we have been apart – you back in Japan, me back in my deep South.  “I want to be with you forever.”  Words folded like an origami boat, rocking on the water of a stream until it capsizes and sinks.

spring rain in torrents
beating down new spring grass
and drowning white blooms.


Photo credit: Gabriella

Photo credit: Gabriella

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 04:34:27

    This is magnificent.. I was in Oxford for the first time ever just this autumn… we were saved from rain and had a wonderful day there… I can so see how the bridges and the river can make this to you… a wish like that is something that often does not happen as we seek our roots…


  2. Suzanne
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 06:35:26

    Gosh, what a powerful piece of writing. Your heart burns in every word.


  3. Mary
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 08:27:12

    Oh, this is so very touching! Filled with atmosphere & experiences & hopeful young lover. It is a good thing though that one doesn’t think too far ahead with such experiences, that one really believes that the perfect happiness of the moment will last, that one has faith in the words of promise said. It is a good thing that one doesn’t always know the end! The haiku stands complete in itself – just lovely!


  4. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 14:33:29

    Love the story, Kanzen. The sound of hard rain and rushing water are palpable in this Haibun. ❤ ❤ ❤ I even smell the wet earth from the rain.


  5. Gabriella
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 15:58:19

    You used the photo and the setting of Oxford in a wistful and beautiful way, Kanzen. I think Oxford is one of the most atmospheric place in the world – the kind of place that makes you feel you could study forever. I love the last paragraph and the image of the origami.


  6. writersdream9
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 16:01:35

    The vivid images, the emotional ups and downs, and the descriptions of places is truly moving!


  7. Glenn Buttkus
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 16:34:49

    Solidly packed, you launched a novella disguised as a prose poem; so much to share, to feel while lounging through your words, but yes, bliss is fleeting, & love can be fickle. Your haiku, as yours always are, stands alone, connected but independent; wonderful read.


  8. Bodhirose
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 17:40:10

    It’s so clear that you adored this man, why didn’t that wish come true? I loved the wistful but quiet acceptance at the end and that last line…sigh.


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 01, 2016 @ 19:30:02

      We adored each other. He was hungry for home. At the time we would have moved, politically, professionally, and socially, it would not have been good for us. So I stayed, he left. He never married.


      • Bodhirose
        Feb 01, 2016 @ 22:38:23

        I understand, of course, and remember you mentioning before that he had never married. I almost asked a nosy question but I won’t…but maybe I already have. Needless to say, you never have to share anything personal if you’re uncomfortable.


        • kanzensakura
          Feb 01, 2016 @ 23:24:06

          It’s OK Gayle. When a mutual friend told him I had married…well…I had told him I would not wait forever and zi didn’t. I met my wonderful husband. One can love two different people in two different ways. We both brought things out of that relationship. He can fry amazing chicken and make killer biscuits and can mimic a Southern/NC accent without blinking. So….heart scars on both of us. And what I learned has shaped my writing style and I have a beautiful sword….quid pro quo.


  9. whimsygizmo
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 19:07:21

    Stunning. This is perfection itself:
    “Words folded like an origami boat”


  10. whimsygizmo
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 19:07:42

    And those words lost in translation, or washed away…LOVE.


  11. Grace
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 19:21:40

    You made me smile with that lunch date, then teary eyed with the wishes not coming true. You can write a romance novel, smiles ~ Love how words folded like an origami boat and spring rain drowning the white blooms ~


  12. Hannah Gosselin
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 19:44:57

    A passionate write indeed…I love this line, “Words folded like an origami boat, rocking on the water of a stream until it capsizes and sinks.” Wonderful haibun!


  13. Ninot
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 21:19:37

    I loved this enough to cry a little tear, kanzensakura.


  14. Victoria C. Slotto
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 21:20:34

    This is so poignant with the last paragraph and the haiku absolutely “eclatant.” (Sorry, I couldn’t think of another way to put it.) Do I sense a memoir coming on?


  15. Bryan Ens
    Feb 01, 2016 @ 22:16:09

    The rain is a powerful foreshadowing of the heartache to come.


  16. glacial caramel(s)
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 00:35:46

    You are such a wonderful writer. I especially like these lines/sections:

    “April in England is beautiful but April in England shared by two lovers is magic.”

    “We timed our singing to the windshield wipers and I played the console like bongo drums.”

    “By the time we rolled into Oxford, we were hoarse and sedate.”

    “I wanted to clap with delight but respected the ancient silence.”

    “A Ploughman’s Lunch with a malty ale – and heaven help us, a wonderful dessert with a horrible name – Spotted Dick.” (Ha ha ha. This is hilarious. An unforgettable memory, for sure.)

    “Make a wish. If you make it in Japanese, it will come true.” (So that’s the secret??? I’m SO going to do this.)

    “But I must have said it wrong. Or maybe the rain washed away the wish.” (Wow. This is powerful. How often do we come out feeling this way?)

    “Words folded like an origami boat, rocking on the water of a stream until it capsizes and sinks.”

    So when I looked up the Japanese, I got something like “May we hurt together even,” which is a profound, and rather cruel, wish. But really, it’s kind of beautiful. May what hurts me, also hurt you. And the opposite. May we hurt together; may we be happy together. Carry each other’s burdens, that sort of thing. I love this, even if it was an accidental wish. It’s what real love is: bearing pain together, and for each other. Very little of love has to do with happiness. It has to do with carrying each other through misery and heartache. A better word for love would really be friendship. All the romance can just get in the way of the deeper laters of a relationship.

    “drowning white blooms” … so gorgeous


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 02, 2016 @ 14:48:21

      Because you seem to enjoy words, I have for years looked for the meaning of the Spotted Dick dessert name. Alas, shrouded in mystery although there are some thoughts having to do with pronunciation of pudding and thick. LOL, it is a yummy plummy pudding with decadent custard. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and comments.


  17. glacial caramel(s)
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 00:36:22

    Have you noticed how very close “Spring Bridge” is to “Spring Bride”? Only a letter away …


  18. kim881
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 04:43:09

    Beautiful memories and the haiku sums up spring in England perfectly, although today the sun is trying to override the rain!


  19. ShirleyB
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 05:11:04

    A beautiful and poignant tale so eloquently conveyed. Enthralling.


  20. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 09:34:28

    Beautifully captured. This has the ring of a true story, right up to the end, which brought raindrops to my eyes.


  21. Pleasant Street
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 10:03:52

    Your haiku is pretty. I am longing for Spring


  22. trishwrites1
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 11:14:45

    What a great story, I felt like I was in Oxford and I really loved the origami reference at the end.


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 02, 2016 @ 14:43:43

      Thank you. All true. We used to fold origami boats to sometimes play in a stream with or float on a pond like a couple of kids. Oxford is a dreamy green place!


  23. lillian
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 16:59:39

    This describes a beautiful few days between two very beautiful people. I am right there with them. And then it comes down to the final paragraph of prose which is stunning.
    ” Or maybe the rain washed away the wish.”
    “Words folded like an origami boat, rocking on the water of a stream…”
    These are my favorite phrases. And taken with the haiku, they show the fragility of words.
    Very much enjoyed this!


  24. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)
    Feb 03, 2016 @ 06:56:22

    I loved reading this – for its own sake, and because it brought back memories of visiting Oxford, years after my brother was a student there, picking out his old college, and being thrilled to breathlessness by a peep inside the Bodleian. A very beautiful piece of writing, somehow made all the more so by the sad-ever-after ending.


  25. Bastet
    Feb 04, 2016 @ 03:55:15

    Ah this is such a splendid haibun .. I won’t repeat your words to you I’ll just say that I felt the moving love that you felt for this lovely person — it must have been heart rending that the wish did not come true, though I suspect he lives still now deep in your heart — in that special place we have for a special person who, for some reason, we lose contact with.


  26. mishunderstood
    Feb 07, 2016 @ 21:28:49

    I am finding it hard to comment as words could not express how much I like this.You took a story, close to your heart and created a masterpiece.


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