Face at the Bottom of the World: Hagiwara Sakutaro.

from the Chester Beatty Library. Dublin.
Yoku Go No Onna from the Chester Beatty Library. Dublin.


Both earth and sky are greenesses,
Greens that explode and expand:
Shoes flash like fish as I tread the seas
And hang like fish when I stand,
And happiness swims in the shadow of trees
As the light blade hangs from my hand.

Moonlight and Jellyfish

I swim in the moonlight, swim to snare
Jellyfish swarming, flocks of phlegm.

My hands stream out, forgoing me:
Further and further they extend
Among those moving mirrors where,
Coiling, the seaweeds cumber them;
Where, in the mooned alembic sea,
My flesh turns glassy, glassily.

A thing transparent, a chilly thing,
Flows in the water, knows no end…

My soul near frozen, shivering,
Sinks in the sea, is almost drowned,
Drowned in its very trance of prayer
While swarming everywhere around,
Swarming round me everywhere,
The jellyfish in trembles of pure blue
Swim out, swim through
That moonlight they are turning to….

I shall have to balance these excerpts from  The Face at the Bottom of the World with a woman poet, when I get two minutes. In the meantime the edition I read these in is from the UNESCO Collection, Published by Charles E Tuttle and Company 1969.

Here, In Ireland our jellyfish are small and brown with electric blue veins in the top. I made a poem about a whole lot of them beached and rotting In Irishtown a number of years ago.There were hundreds lining the beach after a wild storm.

I am publishing this in Images, tagged with Visions.

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