AirborneCreative Writing

Yamazakura: Creative Writing Piece by Charles Bliss

“Yamazakura” by Charles Bliss is a poignant exploration into the essence of communication, likening the process of understanding to interpreting shapes in clouds. Through the narrative, Bliss delves into the intricate relationship between words and their meanings, presenting language as a vibrant, living canvas. The piece imagines words as landscapes to be inhabited, with the narrator embarking on a journey through the alphabetic terrain, finding beauty in the architecture of language. At its core, “Yamazakura” is a reflection on the challenges and charms of expressing the inexpressible, capturing the fleeting beauty of human connection through the metaphor of cherry blossoms. Bliss’s work is an invitation to view language not just as a tool for communication, but as a form of art capable of bridging the gaps between souls, painting a vivid picture of the poetic potential that lies in every conversation.


Making sense of your pillow talk is like playing that look-up-at-the-clouds game in summertime. Except I’m interpreting the intimate shapes of fluffy, cartoon thought clouds bubbling out of your imagination—the kind you’d find in comic books.

“Did you ever think…” you said, “the trouble with poetry is: language always makes ideas appear overcast?”

“I think there’s a silver lining.”

I put what I meant down on paper afterwards like an inverted weather report.

I had wanted to tell you how I trained myself to climb inside words, to crack open their lids and live within the letters. Colourful words—like ‘iridescent’—are my favourite to curl up inside. I can flick away the orb dotted over the letter ‘i’ and slide down into it. Sleeping in the hammock-bend of the crescent moon ‘c’, I’m awoken by sunrising symbols.

I kaleidoscope around the tubular characters, dragging myself through the empty spaces as if crawling through the ventilation systems in a library, or riding the subway through the dictionary. 

I like hyphenated compounds because the line tying them together reminds me of tin cans on strings. Exclamation marks are power pylons electrifying expression. 

Everything through my eyes is alphabet-coloured. 

If I ever see poetry from the inside out, I’ll describe it for you. I imagine it feels like walking through the blossom haze of a field of sakura, brushing your skin against cascades of pink popcorn petals that express themselves by self-immolating. 

The inflorescences of perfection have no vocabulary. They just burst open like millions of miniature pop-up books splattered by incandescent ideographs of made-up languages.

If I could bend poetry to my will I would fold up my feelings in beautiful words, carrying them around like picnic baskets, and we would swallow our conversations under the blue. Beneath the raining cherry blossoms, I’d light up this chapter of your life with an asterisk, shot like the upside-down trajectory of a sky lantern, with an inscription etching itself into the stratospheres of your attention.*

Until then, I’m alone on the outskirts looking outward through indented windows over a three-dimensional panorama of ABC’s. There are meadows upon meadows of possible words, not one of them abloom. I can almost make out the lights of the city skyline on the horizon: the complex coalescing dimensions of an absolute ideascape. 

From here it looks like a worldview.

Not yet a poet, I am instead the pilot of a paper aeroplane. I fly across paginated skies from left to right like a kamikaze fighter, yamazakura painted on the wings, aeronautics of wishful thinking propelling me forward.

I’ll crash myself into the ground, dropping a full stop that will land at the end of all this like an Atomic bomb, vaporizing the thought and leaving in the fallout only an auroral mushroom cloud of an idea, a notion, impressed like thin air upon thin air, between us. Somewhere imperfect, somewhere ineffable. 

* Words are roundabout luminaries—the halos of ourselves—allowing us to recognise one another in the dark

Charles Bliss

Kathrina Wainstok
Instagram: @kdwcreatives

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