The Same Moon
This work considers the universal experience of longing for the familiar landscape of home.
These poems express the longing and melancholy of exile, and yet each acknowledges that we are all tethered to the same moon. Despite our feelings of dislocation and foreignness, the moon reminds us that we share the same planet; the water crashing on our shore is falling as rain across the ocean.
I’m also interested in the other links – the fact that Hokusai created his print Gazing at the Moon From a Terrace in homage to Nakamoro almost a millennium after the poet lived, and that Hokusai, Hiroshige and other Japanese print masters continue to influence and inspire artists 150 years later. Time and space are rendered irrelevant in relation to the more powerful recognition of shared sensibility and experience.
In this series of drawings, I’ve been travelling to various parts of the world, and imagining these artists and poets as my travel companions and collaborators.
Gazing at the Moon From a Terrace
When I look over Heaven’s plain I wonder:
Is that the same moon that rose
over Mount Mikasa in Kasuga?
Abe no Nakamaro
Before my bed, bright moonlight
Is it frost covering the ground?
Head lifted, I look at the moon
Eyes lowered, I think of my native spoil
A Moonlit Night (excerpt)
In this same moonlight
My wife is alone at her window
Thinking of my Brothers on a Moonlit Night (excerpt)
This same moon shines
Where I grew up
My brothers are all scattered
No way to know if they’re alive
And the war goes on and on