Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Waking Up On Winter Mornings

On winter mornings
Even the River Jordan must have a thin coat of ice.
I'm in my bedroom, tucked under a white blanket,
Wanting to experience for myself
The feeling of John as he baptised Jesus
And of Salome as she held John's severed head.
A winter morning and from the street
Echoes the dry clip-clop of wooden clogs,
I sense the immensity of nature in myself,
I too can move
Like the silently turning constellations.
The sharp aroma of mocha
Like a returning ghost with staring eyes
Drifts into my room.
And now I realize
With a mathematician's coolness
The mysterious rhythms that run
Through the world that people make.
Get up, my love!
On winter mornings
The thrushes come early to the suburbs,
My love will have opened her dark eyes by now,
Stretching her arms like a small child,
Revelling in the morning light,
Smiling at the birds' singing.
And when I imagine this
I am seized by desire
And beating the white blanket
Sings songs to love.
On winter mornings
My heart pounds with joy,
I sing out at the top of my voice
With all the pure strength of my life.
The blue-amber sky
Has faint flecks of gold leaf,
A pointer-dog's howling comes from afar
And my customary yearning is aroused,
Suddenly I long for my love again.
On winter mornings
I bite into the ice on the River Jordan.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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