高橋新吉 Takahashi Shinkichi (1901-1987)

Shell

Nothing, nothing at all
is born,
dies, the shell says again
and again
from the depth of hollowness.
Its body
swept off by tide—so what?
It sleeps
in sand, drying in sunlight,
bathing
in moonlight. Nothing to do
with sea
or anything else. Over
and over
it vanishes with the wave.

 

Afternoon

My hair’s falling fast—
this afternoon
I’m off to Asia Minor.

 

Sweet Potato

Of all things living
I’d be a sweet potato,
fresh dug up.

 

Moon

Moon shines while billions
of corpses rot
beneath earth’s crust.
I who rise from them,
soon to join them—all.
Where does moon float?
On the waves of my brain.

 

Explosion

I’m an unthinking dog,
a good-for-nothing cat,
a fog over gutter,
a blossom-swiping rain.

I close my eyes, breathe—
radioactive air! A billion years
and I’ll be shrunk to half,
pollution strikes my marrow.

So what—I’ll whoop at what
remains. Yet scant blood left,
reduced to emptiness by nuclear
fission, I’m running very fast.

 

Absence

Just say, “He’s out”—
back in
five billion years!

Gods

Gods are everywhere:
war between Koshi and Izumo
tribes still rages.

The all of All, the One
ends distinctions.

The three thousand worlds
are in that plum blossom.
The smell is God.

 

 

Cloud

I’m cheerful, whatever happens,
a puff in sky—
what splendor exists, I’m there.

 

Source: 高橋新吉 Takahashi Shinkichi (1901-1987)

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