I am obsessed by cherry blossoms, or rather, the feelings inspired by their fragile beauty. It’s a sort of bitter-sweet acknowledgment that this beauty comes infrequently and is painfully ephemeral.  The Japanese word, aware, captures the feeling of poignant, fleeting beauty. In fact, the passage of the cherry blossoms represents a sort of “bittersweet aesthetic,” one that recognizes the transitory nature of youth and beauty. Poetry is more effective than prose in capturing this feeling.


Despite the storm’s insouciance,
the purple-leaf plum  is still decked out
in girly pink this morning,
petals stapled to each gnarly branch like a child’s art project.

How can I not be grateful for another chance
to abide  beneath its gauzy chuppah,
another day to engage the shimmer of blushing light? –M.E.Green

Cherry blossoms

I went down to
mingle my breath
with the breath
of the cherry blossoms.

There were photographers:
Mothers arranging their
children against
gnarled old trees
a couple, hugging,
asks a passerby
to snap them
like that,
so that their love
will always be caught
between two friendships:
ours& the friendship
of the cherry trees.

Oh Cherry,
why can’t my poems
be as beautiful?

A young woman in a fur-trimmed
coat sets a card table
with linens, candles,
a picnic basket & wine.
A father tips
a boy’s wheelchair back
so he can gaze
up at a branched

All around us
the blossoms
flurry down

Be patient
you have an ancient beauty.

                             Be patient,
                       you have an ancient beauty.

—Toi Derricotte, 1941









Categories: wisdom

1 reply

  1. Lovely tribute to a delicate wisp offered in Spring.

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