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HomePoems > Mount Fuji > 20. View from Ejiri in Suruga Province                         

 

20. View from Ejiri in Suruga Province

There goes your data! This great wind,

Like a hard disk crash, explodes

The message, blasting pages into the air,

Tossing the bamboo hat, too, toward the swamp.

 

Thank God for the twin elms, teetering, too,

But bracing our heroine, so she does not spin, like the

Leaves being torn away, to ride, like

Confused birds, tossed crazily by the gale.

The trees reach up so high they break the frame,

Convincing us that the mountain still lies behind,

Two slopes, and a crater, all sketched in one line,

A suggestion of a form, a ghost.

 

These folks up front, tangled and twisted,

Bent double against the roar, blown

Nearly off the trail, grab hat and cloth,

Haul in their bags, staggering home.

But this woman's lost her vision,

Hair thrashing, hat gone, her pile

Of papers rippling off, rat a tat,

Before she can clap a hand on top,

Gone, the love letters from the samurai,

Lost, the bills and accounts, streaked and

Ruined, the print of the kabuki.

The brushstrokes blur in mid air,

Rain rushing down, pummeling paper

Into the long grass, each blade

Whipping like a furious pen.

 

Slash, slash, slash, these white stretches

Cut back and forth, making the mounded pathway

Rise out of the reeds, zigzagging

East and west, and down to the horizon.

White water slices into the marsh,

Lake's bright line divides us from

The far shore, the simple line

Silhouetting, no, separating sky's light

From the snow on top of this floating middle ground,

The translucent Mount Fuji.


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