Archive for September, 2013
the time has come they say,
there’s an avalanche, so they say
avalanche season has come.
When we lay down our arms–
that pledge of permanence–that purified heart–
that kept out the forces of the world’s fighting countries–
we were a hibernal people living in a small way.
Even with many restrictions
we found life good.
Peace at last.
Peace, a one-colored, silver world.
Yes peace, the word
over this Japan’s diminished lands,
a powdery snowdance
that in abundance fell and lay.
knitting, hands rest at times
and I gaze out, sigh,
here there are no more bombs bursting, no more
reg glare, and think this way of life
suits me better
than to struggle
for global supremacy.
That, past, was a flash.
Before the stack of firewood was out the people
Time’s come, they say, you
can’t change the season.
Snow’s already stopped.
Under the snow
look! Ambition’s hidden buds,
deception, greed. . . .
That’s the way life goes, blows. Helpless–
that one word off a far cliff
plunges, raising all the land’s snow,
bellowing Helpless! Helpless! Helpless!
Oh, that avalanche, that word progressively
gains force as it spreads and distance closes.
I can hear it.
I can hear it.
by 石垣りん Ishigaki Rin
English version by Scott Watson
“The English version appears in ATLANTIC REVIEW, in a special issue entitled ASIA,
Spring / Summer 2002. I forget how many years ago the original was written, but Ms. Ishigaki’s words ring so prophetic now. Thanks to Taylor Mignon for his editing of the Asia portion of that issue. . . .” — SW
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