The Lure of Ekphrasis
by Diana Webb
A card sent long ago, from the country of eight islands, stands, sole occupant of her otherwise non-festive window sill. Exquisite gauzy paper evokes a mist through which she can make out a white peaked mountain, a vermilion disc of light and a branch of fragile blossom beckoning. ‘Take them’ whispers a voice through a distant sound of bells, ‘take them for your journey at the turn of the year and they will bring you through.’
She begins her quest as she floats through space. ‘My name is Basho’ says the small man at her side. ‘Now onwards through the days and months, the best work lies ahead.’
She climbs the mountain, hands the poem to her companion.
with the sound of snow
an egret rises
She touches the vermilion disc, hands the poem to her companion.
with the rising sun
a cherry petal
She stretches out her arm for the bough of blossom, not quite reaching it and hands the poem to her companion.
this too shall pass
He smiles and nods. ‘Welcome’ he says. ‘The years, this way and that, are pilgrims, too, through the enigma beyond our grasp of never-ending time. Welcome.’