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Tomoyuki Iino & Jon Silkin
from the Japanese of Mikiro Sasaki
GONE TOO FARI want to become an ox That bears a sack of salt In a shower of thunder. I want to become a mid-winter cow That climbs the cliff of a dry steep mountain With a grating back-bone. I wade the river burning silver, Go down the scale-shape waterfall And see a frozen shore Beyond the mountain road no one knows, Beyond the lightly shuddering snow. At the road's end it's always The indigo lake where Morning brims a noisy mist and The sound of hooves echoes in the sky. Ruminating in its seven stomachs A ghost with horns Grazes on the grass ghosts. To drown To die there, And to sink, having fed on too many ghosts, Under ice with its horns. Rubbing its back on the mountain In which ancient strata rise, the ghost moves Its lower lip still to eat The ghost of the wind. Having gone too far past The seven mazes, the ghost is now bone ash. From the sky over the valley Salt-scented snow falls.
Tomoyuki Iino Index