In literature class, Kyouraku had begun passing poems to Ukitake during the dull bits.
scents the air outside this room
better than old paper
to which Ukitake added:
cherry blossom will pass,
the paper here outlives us
Kyouraku frowned, and wrote:
who'd be paper
when you can only live in
the hands of scholars?
Ukitake sighed, and finished it:
who'd be cherry blossom
when the wind blows so fiercely?
On the fifth day of spring, Kyouraku wrote:
I'll see your pale skin flushing
even by moonlight
Ukitake glared at him from under dark eyebrows, and added in brisk strokes:
moon's arc shoots vain arrows;
your daydreams miss their target
Kyouraku flashed a little smile, and wrote:
fisher casts nets
for fishes; I cast my hopes
for fairer dreams
His spine very stiff, Ukitake finished it:
the fishes pierce the waves,
the dream escapes the dreamer.
On the ninth day of spring, Kyouraku wrote:
are all colour, but I seek
a paler willow
Ukitake looked sideways under his lashes, and added:
willow leaves float downstream:
should they not fear the water?
Kyouraku's eyes glinted. He wrote:
stream meets the lake,
where reflections will partner
every hopeless leaf?
Ukitake flushed, and hastily finished it:
wind troubles the still lake,
the moon's reflection is hidden
On the twelfth day of spring, Kyouraku wrote:
winter brings snow,
where should the winds seek shelter,
with all windows barred?
Slowly, Ukitake wrote:
pilgrim tracks write their hopes
across the frozen rivers
Quickly, Kyouraku added:
hides flame as red as charcoal
were it to shatter
Ukitake paused. Slowly, he wrote:
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.
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.)