Of Petals and Poems

The city is at its loveliest right now. The cherry blossom trees have bloomed and the city is awash in pink and white petals that paint Vancouver like a fairy tale. I walk under a canopy of trees and hold my breath as if I can’t swallow all this beauty around me.

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The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is on right now until April 28. The website shows you the various locations you can find these trees, as well as other events: a bike the blossoms day, a plein-air painting day, a photo contest, Sakura illumination, and more.

My neighbourhood of Marpole is a jackpot in terms of cherry blossom sightings if you’re curious where to find them. Or you can just stumble upon them as you’re out and about since they’re pretty much everywhere.

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In honour of spring and the Cherry Blossom Festival, I’m posting some photos matched with haikus I wrote. The cherry blossom is of Japanese origin, as well as the haiku, so I thought it was a good pairing. Even more so because the cherry blossom tree symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life with its season of intense beauty and then quick death. Here today, gone tomorrow. Likewise, the haiku, a Japanese poem of 17 syllables in three lines of 5, 7, and 5, forces an economy of words. It’s over before you even begin. Haikus also tend to evoke images of the natural world. What better marriage of form and content than writing haikus of the cherry blossom tree.

Queen Elizabeth Park

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 pink beauty falling
like rain on my eyelashes
wakened from a dream

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mother brings son close
under a japanese tree
smile, click, and leave

Vancouver Art Gallery

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petal against stone
a sweet pulse and then silence
everything turns grey

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IMG_7369Marpole

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a sidewalk greeting
here today, gone tomorrow
revolving house guests

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all these family trees
the comings and the goings
the one that points home

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