Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator




In the storm lashed rain
Like a drowned rat
Bought some rice
For 24 sen and 5 rin
5 dried fish
1 pickled radish
Some pickled ginger
Eggs fresh from the farm
Nori that's like flat steel
Fried fish balls
Salted bonito

We boil some water
And wolf down our supper
Like starving people

The storm worsens
Crashing onto the roof tiles
The house rattles,
Our appetites increase
Driven by the need to eat to live
And soon we fall into a satieted trance
Quietly taking each other's hand
With boundless joy in our hearts
We pray:
Give life to the small everyday things
Let light shine into every corner of our lives
Let everything in our life be overflowing
And may we always be full

Our supper
Now succumbs to a force far stronger than the storm
Our post-prandial langour
Wakens the mysterious appetites of our flesh,
Burning in torrents of rain
We worship each other's body

We are poor, this is supper for us.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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