Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 4

April is National Poetry Month so I’m tackling the Writer’s Digest 2019 April PAD Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Today’s prompt: Pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

Sudden Shower over Shin-Ôhashi Bridge and Atake

Sudden Shower over Shin-Ôhashi Bridge and Atake


Under your color-washed skies, crammed villages huddle tight,
cozied along the shoreline or nestled in
pink-branched hollows just beyond a swell of hill.

Stilted trees rise over tiny figures taking tea and I want to be one of them, these people
framed by majesty, a massive mountain standing loyally by as they go about their
bright tasks, shopping and strolling, skimming the water and mongering fish, balancing woven baskets
on their sturdy shoulders, returning to their lantern-lit homes across a stretch of sweeping bridge,
rain falling like shelter.

Outsized swaths of charcoal tree trunk press into view, but I see what you
want me to see—minute people gathered by a curled crook of branch.
Even the moon pine coils into a monocle, pointing my gaze at the modest town
instead of its own magnificent splayed fronds.
What life this is! you seem to say,
where birds stutter an arpeggio across a burnished sky
and the hum and rush of daily life unfolds against a scrim of muted green,
maple leaves waving like joyful banners all around.