1. A Stranger
A staring stranger in a crowded car
buzzing from Kamakura to Tokyo
a listening dumb in a humming lobby in Roppongi.
(21 September 2009)
Quiet chair and empty table standing still…
Thinking of how to jump into the Japanese garden
A six years little one.
Me treating her a lemonade and her me a tea.
Regretting the lost 12 years with my boy.
4. Tsukiji Market
Frozen white and stiff.
Bigeye and Yellowfin, are you there among them?
Cry out and tell me,
because I am not sure if my heart is ocean-blue or bloody red.
5. Two Pillows
Drizzles falling quietly on leaves and pebles.
Two yasmine white pillows side by side in my bed
I quietly rest my head on the one at the outer side
6. A Letter to You
After three weeks and a night stray in Roppongi
I notice the glass is always clear.
But the sky is not.
Between them green shades of the garden,
who is indifferent.
Before me an empty reserved table for two.
I decided to write to you in New York.
And then go to the library for more books on Tanka.
Maybe Machi Tawara
Or maybe the city. I am not sure.
7. Earthquake, West Sumatera.
The International Herald Tribune this morning:
Fine arts and fine wine auction in one place and moment,
Affandi, Hendara Gunawan and their league, together with Petrus 1995.
Young women 40 hours in the dark and pain. Maybe more if no backhoe came soon enough.
Crying for help from under the rubbles in Padang.
I am here listening to the faint drizzles
Having international dialogues
And planning my lunch and park event.
8. A Measure of Pain
Sisters, brothers, relatives or friends in West Sumatera?
Yes, one million of them…
My tears diluted by hissing evening shower and liquid soap.
I cannot measure if a thousand or more of them pain more than the rest and us.
9. Your name!
Staring at a lonely bay of bamboo fence
under a tree next to a stone island in the sea of sands
and a stream far from any village.
A voice behind me pronounces Nakashima – your name!
I am sure it is neither Nakagawa nor Nakamura.
I keep to myself the word love in Japanese.
10. A Boy
A boy with grandma and pa
his young mother taking their picture
Autumn leaves their backdrop
concrete fence to hold on
Can he love as much they do him when he grows up?
11. Big Wind
Drizzling days this week is.
A storm –strongest in the last decade or so–is expected tomorrow.
Shinkanzen may have to give its way to the Big Wind.
I notice my magnetic-card key is so soiled.
(7 October 2009)
12. The day Number 18 drops by Tokyo
She clears the sky
and helps trees let go the departing autumn leaves into the embrace of the earth.
How noble and difficult.
I open my room window a vertical bit
and let go my jealousy for her to take to Hokkaido
13. Two pairs of words
Two pairs of words
pronounced almost alike
seem to be keys in Japanese foreign policy:
defense and depend; alarmed and calm.
(after Prof Kiichi Fujiwara’s lecture, 7 October 2009)
14. Misawa, Aomori
So sad a place
Even the spring soots are pale northern pole
And autumn leaves are reluctant to drop
15. Takahata 11 October 2009
Three hundreds sixty degrees of blue sky
Belittling me happily in this highland valley.
After a little harvest
Feeling the fresh air in my chest
Feeling deserving a cup of ogura ice-cream.
16. After Basho
Indonesia ni wakare
Yuku aki zo
Like a clam torn from its shell,
I am departing from you for Indonesia.
Autumn is departing, too.
After the last poem in Oku no Hosomichi (Narrow Roads of the Deep North) by Matsuo Basho: Hamaguri no/Futami ni wakare/Yuku aki zo