Poet of Today in Kyoto, Japan

Harumi Aoki


The Promise

A crow

pulled a tuft of white fur

from the slumbering deer’s rump.

Its eyelids quivered

and its big eyes opened.

Held like dandelion floss in the crow’s beak,

the tuft of hair wafts in the air.

Hearing the buzz of a horsefly,

it twists its neck round to chase it off,

but sucked by the horsefly,

the deer’s blood vanishes into the air.

In spring it eats cherry blossom,

in early summer, cherry leaves.

Reflected in its soft eyes I see myself,

as if it is saying. “How long

will Tannhäuser continue the struggle

between soul and body in Wagner’s opera?”

The buzz of the horsefly – let that be.

Growing smaller and smaller in the deer’s eyes,

I would walk

deeper and deeper into the darkening forest…

Love me

and put fresh young twigs

upon my head, too.





Courtesy of Firework poems

Anthology of Modern Japanese Poems

from the Kansai Poets’ Association