The Palms and the Poet
The palm-trees where the poet lingers
stretch out a thousand feathery fingers
and offer sweetest dates.
The shoulder-high ones’ shining tresses
give to the passing knight caresses,
the tall ones, sprinkled shades.
They weave their silken wings together
to shield him from the weighing weather
and point him to the wells.
He seems to smile, but does not notice
the leaves nor fruits, for in his throat is
a spring of syllables.
Christina Egan © 2005
The weeping willow
is smiling in the sunshine,
dancing in the wind.
You sit by the pond beneath,
as if inside a huge harp.
Christina Egan © 2017
The tanka’s image of the poet beside a large harp or lyre, as if he were sitting inside, was inspired by stained-glass windows or illuminated manuscripts showing King David performing the psalms he is said to have composed.
Photographs: Christina Egan © 2014 / © 2018.