Happy eleventh day of Christmas, everyone. I'm happy to say I saw some snow this Christmas. Last week, I went with my friend Tiffany, an English teacher from Jamaica, to Shiga, a prefecture northeast of where I live in Kashihara. Shiga encircles Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan and our train travelled alongside the lake for much of the journey.
The snow was very fresh and, I heard, unseasonably early. It covered the rice fields like big sheets of paper.
The wind picked up and it started to get hard to see through the thick snowflakes outside. I started to think there'd be a blizzard.
But what do I know? My only experience with snow is a couple of trips to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear in California when I was a kid. I'm sure a blizzard was never in the cards. It sure was pretty, though.
When we reached our destination, I could see the snow was so fresh that there were a couple bicycles buried under it.
The snow was still falling pretty heavy while we waited for Tiffany's friends at the station.
When we started walking through town to get lunch, the sky cleared, leaving fields of creamy marshmallow under the sun.
My suede Chelsea boots got pretty soaked but I didn't want to buy galoshes when I was only going to be there one day.
I left Tiffany with her friends early in the afternoon and started back. One of Tiffany's friends, a nice guy named Joshua from Ohio, told me there was a wind warning and the trains would stop early so I didn't want to risk not being able to get back. I saw this snow covered graveyard on the return journey:
I had to change trains in Kyoto, the old capital, which I'd been meaning to wander around for some time. But my phone had died so I didn't want to get too lost. This is Kyoto station:
Or part of it, anyway.
I wandered the two nearby shopping malls and had a cup coffee and a slice of green tea cheesecake. Damned good cheesecake, if you ever come up this way, Diane . . .
I saw these beautiful plant arrangements outside a big hotel:
It was a nice day. It's too bad the snow where I live doesn't get heavy enough to pile up. If it's going to be cold, I say we should at least be compensated with snow.
Twitter Sonnet #1430
The extra screw affects a diff'rent shelf.
A score of books returned to winter south.
The question swapped a spoon to scoop itself.
A hundred planes would fill the hungry mouth.
The crystal glimpse was only sound for sight.
The boring show was long and filled with heads.
In footage rushed the pots proclaimed their might.
The takoyaki slept in empty beds.
The district zoned a paper trail to stone.
The lumber talked between serrated steel.
A stomach holds the dream of eating bone.
There's something blue about the early meal.
The heavy snow distends the gentle roof.
The giant deer commands with heavy hoof.