Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Early Evening

The fire burns in the gas stove,
Oolong tea, the wind, the thin evening moon.

This, and this, and this make up the real world.
Other people may want us to be 'serious', to conform,
But that's like wearing formal dress,
Turning the natural into the artificial
Like standing rigidly to attention.
These other people have lost themselves in the world's confusion
Who once were naked and felt cold and warmth...
When you realise this, all becomes clear:
This is how the world is,
A group of nasty callous people
Gripped by the superficial and nothing else.
That's why those who try to be true to themselves,
Whether in past times, today, or in the future,
Are judged perversely as not being 'serious'
And suffer the persecution you suffered.
These other people are cowards,
They can't be trusted one iota,
They stare at you in mock amazement,
Then spread malicious rumours having nothing better to do,
They are so devious, they ignore the feelings of their victims
And just revel in spreading gossip.
It should be despised, this world,
They're the ones who should be ashamed
These little people caught up in its void.
We must do what we have to do,
Follow the road we have to follow,
Respecting who we are,
Harmonising our thoughts and our nature,
Knowing our greatest strength comes from our self-belief.
Don't look aghast at other people's toad-like ugliness,
Find instead a grotesque beauty in them.
As for ourselves, we can savour the sweetness of our love,
Unravelling every complication,
Living naturally and freely
Like the blowing of the winds, like the flying of the clouds,
True to the laws of nature, our inner needs, the promptings of our thoughts.
There is wisdom in nature,
There is prudence in nature.
These other people, they're half of what we are, stop worrying about them,
Come on... let's go out and grab something to eat in the Ginza.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved