Saturday, February 03, 2007

February Already

Two things, not related.

The first is the inauguration of a new blog, which is the public website of my class this semester called Introduction to Japanese Culture. The blog is intended as a place for us to share information about Japan we find on the web, primarily from the websites of various English-language publications, like Kyodo, Asahi, Yomiuri, and Japan Times, among others. As of this writing, I'm the only one who's posted anything. I look forward to the future. The link is on the right, or here.

The second is a bit of verse having to do with February. After a disquietingly mild December, winter has settled into a dreary routine of very cold nights and chilly days. These lines have little to do with Atlanta, which has only the most rudimentary rail system. Still, in its mood, it has much in common with the weather now:

Beads of glass, pearls and diamonds
glint on rails strung out tensely into a dim beyond
below the stare of an indifferent moon
the shriek of steel flashing sparks and then
nothing as the city remembers it was still.
Wind stirs the only movement, bringing clouds
to further postpone the dawn.
Voices muffled into the grayness
grow indistinct and disappear.
Cold drizzle leaks without a sparkle
dripping into puddles that simply stand and don't reflect.
A dream struggles feebly against intruding cold
and loses its grip in all the slickness
slipping back into never into nothing
as pale light rises, reaching toward morning.

Old Phil in Pennsylvania is an optimist this year. It's something to be grateful for, and gives us something else to look forward to--along with the students' contributions to the aforementioned blog.