Arima Takashi / Pigeons of Hiroshima

~ Please listen to the Palomas De Hiroshima poem by the Japanese poet, Arima Takashi, before reading the English translation. It is the finest example of that ineffable mystery at the core of the earliest of poems in the Japanese oral tradition. I promise it will be an unforgettable, uncanny experience. This is a poet at the top of his art. He and the poem are one. The poem bursts through him. Gratitude to Stephanie Elliott for sharing this. ~ df

Pigeons of Hiroshima

Coo, coo, coo
Sky blue,blue,blue
From the pre-afternoon plaza
A flight of pigeons lift off en masse
Circle slowly over the Motoyasu River
A shimmering fountain, higher and higher
Blown straight up to the midsummer sky
A sultry breeze,more temperate
A stiff gust from the stagnant riverside
At the approach to Aioi Bridge
When lingering before the rustling weeping willow
That drapes the monument to Miekichi Suzuki
At a tilt even steeper than
The leaning wreck of the dome
On the verge of collapse
Lamenting, the numerous
Short shadows of the dead

What’s this, an illusion?
Beyond the melting air
Loading immobile people
Second-hand streetcars displaying destinations in Kyoto
Above which wheels
A single flock of pigeons returning to the Moto River
Turning up into the tense blue sky
Louder than the giant cheer
Rising from the nearby baseball stadium,crying

Arima Takashi (b.1931)
from Journey to the Real

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