Poems from the Japanese

Influenced by the writing of Japanese tanka.

Noble man,
will you move kindly
to the right?
You have been standing
over top of my heart

————

Nighttime wind
coming to this house –
I questioned
however did it
grow so cold inside?

————

Oh no!
The neighbor cat
is running
and they haven’t the breath
to catch him again

————

At evening-time
the blossoms smelling sweet
you bow down
then do a dance for joy –
some people whisper as you pass

————

To my friend –
the days of speaking past,
we hold our tongues
but in my sleeping
I dream we talk for hours

————

Fearful that
love would be fading,
you took a brush
and painted all the rooms
yellow, so yellow!

————

I thought to
pray for your mother
who ails
because you have not
written home a word.

————

For you
I lighted many
pretty lamps,
I hoped the glow
would halt the need for talk.

————

Little one,
for you I will move
the mountains
so that you will sleep
peacefully in bed.