after Kotaro Takamura
No, let us not stir the calm
Of these waters, nor fling in any stone.
Even one drop, trembling,
Disperses a thousand ripples.
Cherish this quiet,
No, let us not speak a word,
Not one more word.
Even one whisper, trembling,
Unleashes a quiver of treachery,
Woman, ambitious, independent; still, woman:
You are this moon, sultrous in an indigo sky,
A moon that ushers wakefulness into dream,
That renders this moment, as it must be, timeless.
Suffer this dream to remain, this moment to stay.
More than that, no, never
Ripple these luminous waters.
This peace is precious,
The measure of that barter.
This peace breathes life, divinity,
That may stir into indignation
At a summer night’s pang.
Do we dare disturb the universe?
No, never. Cherish this quiet
Or be ourselves resolved
When ripples, stone-swept,
Hasten into waves, overwhelm us,
Whirling us in the undertow.
Woman, to endure this, how far into
The heart should we reach?
And could we?
But – see that oil-stained railway station,
wrapped in yellow smoke? How moonlight
Transforms it, into a shimmering,
Jewelled pavilion. Signal lamps
Slow down trains and send them off,
In hues of ruby and jade.
Thus your moonlight fills me
Wondrous, suffuses me
In a mysterious cascade.
Balanced on this precipice,
My soul reaches further, further,
All essence visible and infinitely
Embrace, then, vastness;
Render me speechless
Leave this peace unruffled,
These waters unstirred,
This stone unflung.