Tribute to Lady Murasaki

I sit in your garden in Kyoto
admiring hydrangea.
Lace cap flowers cluster
like stories you wove
about Prince Genji
and the women he loved.

Imagination ascends
like the balloon flower,
lavender on this August day.

Lady Purple, you brushed
characters in kanji,
wetting your ink stone,
painting the tales
of The Shining Prince.

When the temple bell stops,
flowers continue to toll stories,
which have lasted for ten centuries,
though your father lamented
you were born a woman.

back to issue