Walking on the beach Saturday night in Cape Cod
The tide can’t reach
A stone on the shore—
Dry and withered like these winter reeds have we become
While waiting for you here.
No longer shall we crave your company
But leave your coming to the wind.
(As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, 82)
There is a bitter, impatient, cheeky tone in this poem that I found refreshing among the poems of love and longing. If in the West love is associated with death, as in Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde, and with dreams in Japan, then what place does love have in “real life”? Death marks the end of a physical life and dreams mark the end of a conscious state of being. Is love just an illusion? “By pursuing dreams, we create reality, even as we try to distinguish the Real from the Ideal, and even as we deny the hardness of toil and the possibilities of failure that follow the ease of dreaming” (Inouye, 30). Whether love is an illusion or not, it is important in that it gives life meaning.