Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Midnight Snow

The flame in the warm gas stove
Murmurs faintly,
The lamp in the cosy study
Shines silently on a sleepy couple.
After dark the cloudy sky turned to snow
And when I looked out the window just now
Already everywhere was white.
I can feel the weight of the snow
As it silently falls and deepens
On the ground, on the roof, in our hearts.
The world holds its breath, wondering like a child
How happiness can be wrapped in something so heavy and soft.
Look, it's this deep already!
We can hear a muffled voice
Followed by the clap of wooden clogs being slapped clean
And then the night is silent till eleven o'clock
And we have finished our conversation
And tired of drinking tea
We hold each other's hand
Straining our ears to the deep heart of this silent world,
Watching time flow slowly by,
A slight sweat on our peaceful faces
We try to open ourselves to every possible feeling,
Again the clap-clap as wooden clogs are cleaned of snow
Then the noise of a car or something...
Wow! Look at that snow!
I say to her and, before she replies,
She steps suddenly into a fairy tale,
She parts her lips slightly
Enchanted by the snow...
The snow too is joyous out there
For ever falling and deepening,
Warm snow,
A heavy snow, steadily chilling us to the bone.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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