By the Trikāya Translation Committee.

Japan Poems 2

Quitting the game of this

Moment is somehow not an option.

When the smoke rises and

The air conditioner blows

Its quiet song with the

                Power of its voice

                Extending, expressing what

                Hands do in their spare time: they pull

                And something pulls back, retracting from its game plan

Extracting the essence of you, somehow, me

Somehow, all of us: waiting for a bright amusement

That gratifies the six senses, convenient and

Not tiresome, drawn out over mountainsides

All of us like graffiti etched

onto some ancient wooden structure or oddly

         shaped rocks, scratches of a

         name: a sense of

         placement.

Iga-Ueno City, Mie  Prefecture, Japan, 2005

***

Crossed over? Gone beyond?

Too many moments

bedazzled by the charms

of the ferry.

Kyoto, Japan, 7.13.2005

***

Within the rolling wave

of thunder,

fireflies ignite.

 

In the mist of each drop

my dreams swim

for ages

–not to be communicated.

 

If you can listen carefully

the minutia of this world

unfolds — back, forward, sloshing

through a piercing collision

of space and attention:

if you listen carefully,

in each wave.

in each drop.

Kyoto, 7.15.2005

***

this poem writes itself out of a hole

and crawls bleeding out of the trenches

with a can of Campbell’s soup strapped

perpendicular to its waist

 

this poem gets itself out of a

shitty

situation

 

this poem is fluent in birdcries

knowledgable about the seasons

and takes tender care

not to step on cockroaches

 

this poem has a long list of

things  it needs to

get done.

 

this poem was written long ago

in the ten directions

and magically makes itself known

through modern technological

skillful expedient devices.

 

this poem can hold it in

stand it up

and sprinkle dewdrops

on your head.

 

this poem is tired of

the limits

of language

 

and so decides to enact

a diversification

program.

 

this poem changes into

music, dance, and film;

sculpture, art, and massage;

international corporate business transactions

and a drunk man

outside a Japanese bar

that is glued to the parking lot

 

this poem doesn’t feel like

it has to

prove itself

 

and so refused to call itself a poem

disregarding all such labels

and calls itself

a legend

instead.

 Japan, 2005

%d bloggers like this: