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HomePoems > Mount Fuji > 39. View from Ono Shinden in Suruga Province                       

 

39.  View from Ono Shinden in Suruga Province

Who knows what order he painted these? Packing

His tablets, carving tools, and brushes, like these big bales

Of thatch, heavily tipping the oxen, each on its own lead,

Bumping neighbors, backing up, mooing, dropping dung.

After the bustle of the trail, we rise

With relief to the marsh where the white birds take off,

Their fishing disturbed, though not enough to make them flap

Faster, or do more than glide to the next patch

Of open water. Hokusai's wiped out

The intervening distances with his all-purpose mist,

So white pours out of the crater, staining the marsh near us,

Rippling right up onto the beach, next to the two carrying

Backpacks of tea leaves. They're stepping out of the way

Of this rough caravan, this peasant cattle drive,

Where every drover has his eye on the load, the lead,

And the sputter-stepping hooves, not Mount Fuji.


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