seasonal verses

In literature class, Kyouraku had begun passing poems to Ukitake during the dull bits.

the flowering cherry
scents the air outside this room
better than old paper

to which Ukitake added:

the cherry blossom will pass,
the paper here outlives us

Kyouraku frowned, and wrote:

but who'd be paper
when you can only live in
the hands of scholars?

Ukitake sighed, and finished it:

but who'd be cherry blossom
when the wind blows so fiercely?

On the fifth day of spring, Kyouraku wrote:

when summer comes
I'll see your pale skin flushing
even by moonlight

Ukitake glared at him from under dark eyebrows, and added in brisk strokes:

the moon's arc shoots vain arrows;
your daydreams miss their target

Kyouraku flashed a little smile, and wrote:

the fisher casts nets
for fishes; I cast my hopes
for fairer dreams

His spine very stiff, Ukitake finished it:

as the fishes pierce the waves,
the dream escapes the dreamer.

On the ninth day of spring, Kyouraku wrote:

maples in autumn
are all colour, but I seek
a paler willow

Ukitake looked sideways under his lashes, and added:

the willow leaves float downstream:
should they not fear the water?

Kyouraku's eyes glinted. He wrote:

the stream meets the lake,
where reflections will partner
every hopeless leaf?

Ukitake flushed, and hastily finished it:

the wind troubles the still lake,
the moon's reflection is hidden

On the twelfth day of spring, Kyouraku wrote:

when winter brings snow,
where should the winds seek shelter,
with all windows barred?

Slowly, Ukitake wrote:

their pilgrim tracks write their hopes
across the frozen rivers

Quickly, Kyouraku added:

the winter-white ice
hides flame as red as charcoal
were it to shatter

Ukitake paused. Slowly, he wrote:

the burning sun turns the year,
the snow must wait its season.

It was on the fifteenth day of spring that Ukitake began a poem himself.

the spring blossoms
fall freely; the river springs
up to melt the snow

. . . and it was a great pity that it was intercepted by the teacher, who gave them both detentions for passing notes in class.

(Kyouraku and Ukitake had a long discussion about literature in their shared room, afterwards. With the door locked.)