Pointing the Lens

Work is work, except at lunchtime. And I have the good fortune of working near Ichigaya in Tokyo, meaning an early afternoon walk down there during the hanami season is like taking an exotic little vacation. I even take my camera, like a real tourist.

Brief blossom
at its height, gusts,
china blue sky

Many of the garish blue tarpaulins spread out on the banks of the Kanda River under blossom-laden branches are occupied by only one person, stationed to keep the spot for colleagues who will gather there later on. Some such lone employees are virtually still at work, hunched over a laptop. Others are not as diligent.

Just one petal
of the pink and white cascade
crowns the sleeper

Nearly all the cameras (smartphone and dedicated) capturing blossom shots are pointed sweetly and conventionally skyward. But over there is a blossoming branch, half in shadow, overhanging the dark, dank top of a shabby roadside waterworks bunker that’s strewn with just-fallen petals. I snap it. I get looks.

Chuckles for
pointing the lens
at where spring hides

hanami – cherry blossom viewing

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6 Responses to “Pointing the Lens”

  1. Mellow, offbeat take on the traditional spring pursuit. Thanks for it. Beauty can be all the more striking if found in an otherwise ugly place. Presumably the waterworks bunker is a large dark-coloured box or hut which disguises lots of pipes and valves and so forth? (Not that it really matters!)

  2. ha ha ha ha ! (smiling)

  3. I love these! I can’t wait next season of cherry blossoms.

    Well, Tito and haiku lovers, do you know the site Hitrecord? I built up a board for contributing haiku every day for a year on the site, so if you guys got interested in it, please use the board. And if you kindly explained what is haiku for Hitrecorders, I really really appreciate it. ‘Cause I know my explanation made some people confused. Thank you!

    • Defining haiku is always controversial. Best to learn from examples in good books and at good sites. Hailstone’s ‘take’ on the genre is that haiku is a form of poetry, brief, understated, but possessing the potential for expansion of detail in the mind of the reader. Too often a haiku fails because either not enough or too much is supplied. If you look at the poll in the right-hand margin, ‘Three Essential Characteristics of an English Haiku’, and click on ‘Results’, while brevity and seasonality are important, you’ll see that break/cut/juxtaposition (切れ) is of the essence. There are far more than three characteristics, of course, and one could write a whole essay in reply to your question, but I hope this helps in some small way.

      • Thank you very very much for your comment, Tito. Indeed, there is no better way than reading many good haiku!

        If you guys had spare time, please search the site ‘Hitrecord’ and find a challenge called ‘the REAL haiku year!’ that is I’m managing by me. Thank you.

        (I know it’s an unnecessary information though, the owner of the Hitrecord is one of my favorite actors; Joseph Gordon-Levitt who played Tom in ‘(500) Days of Summer,’ and Arthur in ‘Inception.’)

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