Poets from Japan
Big mouth is open.
It looks like an
What did the eyes see?
What did the ear hear?
Everybody sneaks away,
on seeing me with the face doubtful.
Have you opened your
mouth so wide?
Have you opened your
eyes so big?
You have seen
a horrible scene,
so horrible as
no one has ever seen.
A quiet afternoon
It is a quiet
in this old and peaceful city.
In Africa and in Middle East
explosion is roaring around,
machine-gun is screaming.
With thin limbs and
with their face all dead,
children are sitting
beside their mother.
Words are keen,
words are void.
In the beginning
was the Word.
The Word was with God.
Today word is
but not with god.
I am here
at the back yard of a temple
I am thinking of
a young princess,
praying for her
at the quiet yard.
It is a quiet
upon my cheek.
2011 was a hard year.
We could not forget 3, 11th.
ran over the world
and the terrible vision grasped our mind.
It reminded us of the day 9. 11.
Also it wrenched away from me the meaning and intention of taking
It is true that I felt it impossible to express the scene by words. I felt the word powerless. I felt it even presumptuous to ask what
poetry could do at this fatal moment.
Nevertheless, I felt it a duty for me to write poems and to face the
stone Buddha. It was the only way left
The trilogy of Poems and Photos on
Stone Buddha has got to the goal.
The way was not smooth.
Especially the last volume should leaped over
the highest hurdle. “Talking with Stone
Buddha” is the title of the volume. It
should take the style of dialogue. How
to make the stone Buddha speak perplexed me.
I had no idea how to overcome the problem.
After a hard time, I got an idea.
Stone Buddha would not be an objective thing. It would be an ambivalent existence, my
opposing self. Then the dialogue should
be made within myself.
The trilogy would not be three different worlds but a world within
I may have made a meaningless pilgrimage of nominalism. But
I think it all right. I am now
satisfied with my pilgrimage. I have
made a pleasant dialogue with Stone Buddha.
They have showed myself in many objective
figures. Today we have long lost
ourselves. My trilogy is a little work
but it is meaningful to me. It gave me a
rare chance of recovering myself.
AIR shall publish more
of the trilogy on following issues
Shadow of Shadow
“After all, Shadow
sulked I and went into Shadow,
then Shadow disappeared.
This is light,
there is I,
therefore is Shadow, which might have been
a tacit proof of my being.
This discovery in the
may be too naive, and I know
I’ll have to sink down
into Shadow of Shadow
when I get back to Japan.
But just for now,
forgetting that unhealthy Theory of Ideas *
let us simply respect
* Advocated by Plato, in which
Idea is absolutely existing Light causes each individual being to exist as its
Shadow; Shadow is nothing but an incomplete imitation of its prototype.
From her book BROKEN TABOO
A dialogue with
a German professor in Kyoto
HOST: This house was built about one hundred and twenty years ago.
Please be careful on the stairs.
PROFESSOR: Ah, how steep this staircase is! (both upstairs now)
HOST: This room used to be the study of my late father.
PROFESSOR: Did the library all belong to him?
HOST: Yes, most of it. He was kind of an eternal youth of literature.
How do you call such a person in German?
PROFESSOR: ... ...
HOST: Well, Professor K, Have a look on the other side. On the left side
of the alcove, there is a staggered shelf.
PROFESSOR: (Taking up a small
photo frame sitting on the shell, he started at it for a while) Who is this soldier?
HOST: My own father just before he was drafted during the Second World
PROFESSOR: How old was he then?
PROFESSOR: But isn’t a sword that is placed against his right arm?
HOST: Yes, it was a genuine Japanese sword.
PROFESSOR: Did he fight with such a sword? Was he not given a gun
HOST: No, Prof K. He ws
a student soldier and trained in our homeland, while other uncles of mine
fought abroad. In the meanwhile the War ended and he returned to his university.
PROFESSOR: But what became of the sword?
HOST: He kept it to himself until his death. He cherished it because his
own father managed to purchase it at a high price in an age of food shortage. Soon
after his death I took it on the shoulder to the local police office. It was so
heavy, I felt as if I were carrying his body.
PROFESSOR: Did they confiscate it there?
HOST: No, I returned it peacefully. It was the right legal procedure.
The century had already turned.
The professor revealed
a sense of pity to the sword.
A nameless man
concluded his life
without triggering, without strife.
Sword sharpener practicing his trade, around 1909
Blacksmith Munechika (end of the 10th century), helped by a fox
spirit, forging the blade kogitsune-maru ("Little
fox"). The spirit is
represented by a woman surrounded by foxes. Engraving by
Ogata Gekkō (1859–1920), in 1873.
An Impromptu on Macao
In the Camoes Park
old Chinese women, in a thicket,
did gymnastics slowly.
In the Vasco da Gama Park
children from the neighborhood
played near the fountain, speaking Chinese.
All day long
I toured the city
but I seldom saw
Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral in Macau
Temple A-Má in Macau, now China., dedicated to Goddess Matsu
Shot by Francisco Cheong Hei Chon in 2005