castle garden of water to beyond

Twelve months in a Japanese garden in Edinburgh

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May – Ken’s post

A glorious afternoon. Pink cherry blossom still bunched on branches, but with a deep scatter of petals on grass, paths and the surface of the pond. Shadows are fuller, darker.

Deerhound Ness is back, mooching for sandwiches.

My sunhat gets its first outing of the year.

Most of us here today knew Neil Christie, whose birthday it would have been today. Neil died, aged 52, last Christmas Eve, and this was in part a memorial gathering. He lived just west of here at Cramond, in a cottage overlooking the river, where he cultivated friendship.

Transformation, gradual in recent months, is suddenly accomplished.

Here is a recently attempted translation of a fragment from about 1960 by the German poet Günter Eich.

May doesn’t stay for long,
seven eight nine minutes,
an immaterial blink of the eye
with light rain and a southerly breeze,

one might ask it nicely to come again,
as if it mattered,
one might ask it nicely to stay,
as if it mattered.


Thanks to Tim Fitzpatrick for the cherry blossom photos.