Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Chieko Plays With Plovers

On the empty Ninety-Nine Mile Beach,
Chieko sits in the sand and plays.
Countless friends call her name:
Chi, chi, chi, chi, chi...
Leaving tiny footprints in the sand,
Plovers come to gather round Chieko.
Mumbling away to herself,
Chieko beckons them with her hands.
Chi, chi, chi...
They beg for the shells she holds.
Chieko tosses them a few at a time.
Rising up, they call to Chieko:
Chi, chi, chi, chi, chi...
Having given up all human contact
And crossed far into the natural world,
Chieko seems such a lonely speck -
Two hundred yards away, in the forest windbreak, in the setting sun,
Smothered in pine pollen, I stand still as if for ever.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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