Environment | IN BLOOM Dec 17, 2008

Ichigo (Strawberry)

by Linda Inoki

Curly locks! Curly locks! Wilt thou be mine? Thou shall't not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine, But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam, And feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream! "Mother Goose" nursery rhyme Japanese greenhouses are full of strawberry plants ...

Environment | IN BLOOM Dec 3, 2008

Hiiragi-nanten (Mahonia)

by Linda Inoki

Like a kitten's claw, Or a stubbly jaw, Like a barley sheaf, Or Mahonia leaf — Memories prick. And my skin Grows thin — Grows thick! "Bittersweet" by Linda Inoki This handsome oriental shrub grows in a similar fashion to the nanten (Nandina domestica, or "heavenly ...

Environment | IN BLOOM Nov 19, 2008

Isogiku ("Silver and gold" chrysanthemum)

by Linda Inoki

Leaving the house Ten paces — And the vast autumn sea! By Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), quoted in "Haiku" by R. H. Blyth (Hokuseido Press) Japanese gardeners produce so many spectacular chrysanthemums in autumn that it is easy to overlook this simple wild species. However, if you ...

Environment | IN BLOOM Dec 17, 2008

Ichigo (Strawberry)

by Linda Inoki

Curly locks! Curly locks! Wilt thou be mine? Thou shall't not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine, But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam, And feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream! "Mother Goose" nursery rhyme Japanese greenhouses are full of strawberry plants ...

Environment | IN BLOOM Oct 15, 2008

Akebi (Chocolate vine)

by Linda Inoki

"I wonder if you know what this is?" It was a large branch covered with purple-white cocoons; the sort of cocoons from which Godzillas hatch. "This is akebi," the woman said. "Are those cocoons?" "No, they're only berries." "They look as if they've got huge grubs ...

Balloon vine

Environment | IN BLOOM Oct 1, 2008

Balloon vine

by Linda Inoki

Whither does he make his way?Only where the autumn winds blow The little pilgrim! By Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), translated by Lewis Mackenzie in "Autumn Wind Haiku" (Kodansha International) In Japanese culture, the autumn wind speaks of mortality, but in the natural world ...

Fig

Environment | IN BLOOM Sep 17, 2008

Fig

by Linda Inoki

Across the sea a land there is,Where, if fate will, men may have bliss, For it is fair as any land: There hath the reaper a full hand, While in the orchard hangs aloft The purple fig, a-growing soft. From "The ...

Blackberry

Environment | IN BLOOM Sep 3, 2008

Blackberry

by Linda Inoki

He roves, half-indolent and self-employed, To rob the little birds, Of hips and pendant haws, And sloes, dim-covered as with dewy veils And rambling bramble-berries, pulpy and sweet,Arching their prickly trails Half o'er the narrow lane. From "Autumn" by the English poet ...

Calabash or Gourd

Environment | IN BLOOM Aug 20, 2008

Calabash or Gourd

by Linda Inoki

The neighborhood was a poor one, chiefly of small houses. Some were leaning precariously and there were "evening faces" at the sagging eaves. "A hapless sort of flower," said Genji. "Pick one off for me, would you?" The man went inside the raised gate and broke ...

Sunflower

Environment | IN BLOOM Aug 6, 2008

Sunflower

by Linda Inoki

Ah Sunflower, weary of time, Who countest the steps of the sun; Seeking after that sweet golden climeWhere the traveller's journey is done;Where the Youth pined away with desire,And the pale virgin shrouded in snow, Arise from their graves, and aspire Where my ...

Flax

Environment | IN BLOOM Jul 16, 2008

Flax

by Linda Inoki

It was the schooner Hesperus, That sailed the wint'ry sea; And the skipper had taken his little daughter, To bear him company.Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,Her cheeks like the dawn of day, And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds That ...

Evening primrose

Environment | IN BLOOM Jul 2, 2008

Evening primrose

by Linda Inoki

Although I am sure That he will not be coming, In the evening light When the locusts shrilly callI go to the door and wait. Anonymous, from the 10th-century Kokinshu poetry anthology. Translated by Donald Keene in "Anthology of Japanese Literature" (Grove ...