Posts Tagged ‘Lady Nyo’s blog’

Lady Nyo’s Torment, from “The Nightingale’s Song”, Part 6

August 6, 2013

Man'yoshu image II

Lady Nyo’s Torment, from “The Nightingale’s Song”, Part 6

 

“I stay here waiting for him

In the autumn wind, my sash untied,

Wondering, is he coming now,

Is he coming now?

And the moon is low in the sky.

The only company I have tonight,

Now near dawn, is the paling Milky Way,

And Oh, my husband!

There are not stars enough in the heavens

To equal my sorrowful tears.”

 

Hana Nyo threw back the quilted robe from her head.

It was just a dream, just a dream. 

Then why does my heart pound so?

 –

Two nights before

Lady Nyo and her nurse

Spent the hours til dawn

Watching the flame rise and fall

Through the shoji of Lord Nyo’s room,

 Watched the candle

Consume the poems he was writing–

But to whom?

 –

“Ah, he has another woman!”

Her nurse was loyal but leaned

On the privilege of time.

 –

Lady Nyo’s heart took flight.

Fear and shame dueled

In her blood, pushing reason

From her head.

– 

Did he know?

Did he know?

Did he know about the poems?

Did he know of the vanished lover?

 –

For two days it rained.

November rains poured like

Waterfalls off the eaves,

Broke the stems of the chrysanthemums,

Scattered the flower heads,

Blew great gusts of wet wind into her room,

Blanketing an already sorrowful mind

With a seasonal fury.

 –

Lord Nyo had ridden out

The dawn after

The Night of Burning Poems,

Dressed for hunting,

His falcon on his glove,

Not a word of farewell,

Not a baleful glance in her direction.

She watched him mount his horse,

And gallop away.

She watched from the slits between bamboo blinds,

Like a thief or a beggar,

She didn’t know what,

Only felt the sharp sting of shame,

A particular loss of something she probably

Never had.

 –

Lady Nyo spent the day journal writing,

Her misery reflected in an unpainted face,

Tangled hair,

Shunning food as a sacrifice:

The pain of her torment

Was not lessened.

 –

Once I did believe

That no love could still linger

Within my heart

Yet, a love springs from somewhere

And forces itself on me.”

– 

And:

 –

“My eyes have seen you

But I’ve yet to hold you close

You’re like a laurel

That is growing on the moon

And I don’t know what to do.”

– 

Yes, and I don’t know what to do.

– 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011, 2013

 


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