Another poem about persimmons! I've always loved Li-Young Lee's poem - and this one is wonderful too. My persimmons are still hanging on the tree, even after a few freeze-thaw cycles - I haven't picked them yet, and honestly, I just enjoy seeing them on the tree. I am surprised (and grateful) that a squirrel hasn't decided to harvest them yet.
Six Persimmons by Shin Yu Pai
after ruining another season's harvest—
over-baked in the kitchen oven then
rehydrated in her home sauna
Aunt Yuki calls upon her sister,
paper sacks stuffed full of orange
fruit, twig and stalk still intact
knows that my mother sprouts seedlings
from cast off avocado stones, revives
dead succulents, coaxes blooms out of orchids
a woman who has never spent a second
of her being on the world wide web,
passes her days painting the diversity of
marshland, woodland, & shoreline;
building her own dehydrator fashioned from
my father's work ladders, joined together
by discarded swimming pool pole perched
high to discourage the neighbor's cats
that invade the yard scavenging for koi
"Vitamin D" she says, as she harnesses
the sun, in the backyard the drying device
mutates into painting, slow dripped
sugar spilling out of one kaki fruit
empty space where my father untethers
another persimmon, he swallows whole
You can read more about the poet Shin Yu Pai at her website.
When I 'googled' the poem 'Six Persimmons', I came across a nice surprise - a 13th century painting of six persimmons. From Wikipedia:
Six persimmons is a Chinese 13th century painting by the monk, Mu Qi (Mu Ch'i), the painter better known in China as Fa-Chang. It was painted during the Song dynasty. Mu Qi was one of the two great exponents of the spontaneous mode of chinese painting (the other being Liang Kai). It features six persimmons floating on an undefined, but skillfully mottled background. It is painted in blue-black ink on paper.
The painting became famous for the tremendous skill of the brushstrokes. Their subtlety of modeling is oft remarked upon. The thick and thin brushstrokes that model the lightest of the persimmons make it seem to float in contrast to the dark one next to it. The treatment of the stems and leaves recall Chinese characters, and reveal brush control at its highest level.
Six Persimmons by Mu Qi (image found here).
Isn't this lovely? What a treat it was, to come across this. And to come across this quote by Arthur David Waley:
(Six Persimmons is) passion... congealed into a stupendous calm.
[Waley, Arthur (1923), An Introduction to the Study of Chinese Painting, Benn, London, page 231].