“I looked at the sky and the earth and straight ahead
and since then I’ve been writing a long letter to the dead
on a typewriter that doesn’t have a ribbon, only a horizon line
so the words beat in vain and nothing stays.”
“After Someone’s Death”
Once there was a shock
that left behind a long pale glimmering comet’s tail.
It contains us. It blurs TV images.
It deposits itself as cold drops on the aerials.
You can still shuffle along on skis in the winter sun
among groves where last year’s leaves still hang.
They are like pages torn from old telephone directories–
the names are eaten up by the cold.
It is still beautiful to hear your heart throbbing.
But often the shadow feels more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.
from the great enigma: new collected poems
translated by Robin Fulton