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HomePoems > Mount Fuji > 18. View from Shimo Meguro                     

 

18.  View from Shimo Meguro

I've seen these hills of tea from the bullet train,

Steep, sharp, small, family size, raked and terraced,

So overworked it's amazing the plants yield leaves.

 

I remember the gardeners in Kyoto picking up

Each maple leaf from the moss, snipping tassels

From pines, packing each tightly into the bags

Over their shoulders, as they climb the triangular

Bamboo ladders, not leaving an uncertain branch,

Or scuffed trunk. Such patience

I knew only in the group, when time died,

And I washed the leaves with soap and water,

Back on 13th Street, suppressing my American

Rush to complete, and carelessness.

 

Hay mows make minor hills, roof beams

Act like snowy mountains, dwarfing

Three men on the trail, and the dimple

Poking up from the far valley, the zit

We cherish, Mount Fuji.


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