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But the monks of the Middle Ages, and the clerics too, believed that the inner paradise was the ultimate ground of freedom in man’s heart. To find it one had to travel, as Augustine had said, not with steps, but with yearnings. …Paradise is simply the person, the self, but the radical self in its uninhibited freedom.

Thomas Merton
Love and Living
(New York: Harcourt, 1965) p8
by way of narcissusworks

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

Victoria de los Angeles / “When I Am Laid in Earth” (from Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”)

the cuckoo sings
“Watch out! The sake’s

Issa, 1822

Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

The sunset glow –


as if still burning

Yasuhiko Shigemoto (survivor)
My Haiku of Hiroshima, vol 1

Songs: Ohia / Captain Badass

Paul Celan / Language Mesh (Sprachgitter)


Eye’s roundness between the bars.

Vibratile monad eyelid
propels itself upward,
releases a glance.

Iris, swimmer, dreamless and dreary:
the sky, heart-grey, must be near.

Athwart, in the iron holder,
the smoking splinter.
By its sense of light
you divine the soul.

(If I were like you. If you were like me.
Did we not stand
under one trade wind?
We are strangers.)

The flagstones. On them,
close to each other, the two
heart-grey puddles:
mouthsfull of silence.

Paul Celan
Michael Hamburger, trans.