Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Summer Time — The Full Moon 
Four Days After July 27th

my mother silently went to heaven       four days ago

and tonight       is the full moon

my mother quietly completed her work

                         the last penance called living

when she breathed in and exhaled       as though reaching

as far back as to the Inca Empire

                                          the thin river of her life

                                                          trembled like a thread

snow     everything is fine

she is     happier than the moon      she does not have to wander about

                                      among the dark clouds

she does not have to       shine serenely

                                   and slowly leave

she has obtained       the permanence

of her existence by not existing       ah

I forgot to say, thank you       because your leaving

this world was      too soon      and too quiet a sigh

what is called permanence is       transient

because it only exists inside me

in this finite inside

infinity       that is a permanence is       now


ah       full moon

                      please shine

on my beloved       my mother

                    please flutter

                like a spring breeze

            quietly over the repose of her soul


                               drops of light


Kazuko Shiraishi
New Directions 2009
translated from the Japanese by
Yumiko Isumura & Samuel Grolmes