Weather Moods
Joan S Grigsby

Woodblock Prints by Lillian Miller

(published in Asia Volume XXXI Number 11, November 1931, page 724, with woodblocks reproduced in black-and-white))

Rain in Tokyo

Umbrellas in the rain--red, green and blue,
They pass along below the willow leaves.
I watch them till they vanish from my sight
Around the corner of the curving eaves--
Umbrellas under dripping willow leaves.

High wooden sandals scraping through the mud,
They clatter past my house, The slow, soft rain
Whispers around them, and the willow leaves
Sing after them, above the empty lane,
Of sandals and umbrellas in the rain.

Korean Autumn

Wan are the rice fields in the dusk tonight.
Far off I hear the cranes' regretful cry
And watch their wings outspread against the light
That fades while day grows shadowy to the sight.

All down the road, white figures, one by one,
Go slowly--women bearing heavy packs
On rigid heads. With weary, straining backs
Thin coolies, thankful that the day is done,
Drag laden carts, and ancient men, whose sun
Sinks low, shiver outside their mud-built shacks
And light their two-foot pipes with trembling hand,
Nodding wise heads below black high-crowned hats.

Indoors for shelter run the great brown rats;
Bare-breasted, suckling infants, mothers stand
While near the road, at play with stones and sand,
The hungry children roll on rice-straw mats.

Across the stubbled fields the north winds blow;
Beating wide wings the lonely cranes go by.
High on the mountains now red maples glow
And golden gingko trees; but soon the snow
Will follow on the cranes' regretful cry.