Debora Greger Poems
Station 40, Chiriu: The Poet Ariwara No Narihira At Eight Bridges
What is sky but water, more water,
crossed by eight bridges?
Is the ancient poet in a rush to reach land?
No, he's already one of the Six Immortals.
How long before the papery iris-petals
he admires wrinkle? They barely grow beards.
In a thousand years, pilgrims will come.
They will stand where he stood. Where, they will ask,
are the flowers that empurpled his poem?