Contemplating Hiroshige's woodblock of irises
in my room
as the Chinatown cherry blossoms begin blooming
I picture the century of men before me
for whom the blue tints of time
in Hiroshige's print
awoke the heart's hummingbird dance
for the laborious turning of the ground.
It is as if
by engraving them as painters
the human-ness of a flower
Through the woodblock
the little garden blossoms become wise men
much as the Buddha smiles from a living lilac.