Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Cattle Running Wild

Ah, you were so scared
By what you saw, weren't you?
Like bandits they thundered
Through the black pines on this mountainside
Setting off an avalanche in the wilderness
And now already somewhere else,
The herd of cattle running wild.

So let's finish our work for today,
Already terre-verte coloured clouds have appeared
On the half-painted ridge of Mount Hotaka,
Already the cerulean coloured River Azuma
Draining the ice from Mount Yari
Is thrown into shadow by the mountains,
Far below in the valley white aspens sway in the wind,
So let's finish our painting for today
And taking care not to spoil the sanctity of this remote place
Make the campfire we love so much,
On this moss swept clean by nature
Come and sit quietly by me.

You were so scared
Because you saw chasing the herd of stampeding cattle
That ferocious, panting,
Blood-smeared, young steer.
But someday you will understand
The naked brutality you saw on this sacred mountain,
Someday when you know more
And you will smile with a quiet love.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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