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Lilies-of-the-Valley
Sakuzo Takada
Brent Partridge



In the shelter of
The subway -- she's selling her
Lilies-of-the-valley.



I carefully step over
A patch of moonlight, night woods.



I've been invited
To a meeting of old friends
Walking up to them.



Dimensions of a great wine
Open our conversation.



It begins the night
And the moon shines from the sky
She shines above us.



As we come back in to shore
The mists begin to gather.



It's early autumn
Tried the other direction
On my daily walk.



A bridge tower stands out
From the last of the sunset.



Will she come tonight?
Awaiting her arrival.
I'm so anxious!



I see a far silhouette --
She pauses and looks upward.



Come on my sweet heart,
We'll have a sweet kiss at first
And come to my room.



I bend to snap a photo --
a blowhole surprises me.




They put the crescent
Which was frozen in the sky
On a leafless branch.


Golf balls drive towards them
Wintering wild geese don't flinch.


When I win the game,
I'm happy, when I lose it,
I'm also happy.



Scrubbing it with a towel
The grimace of the clay Buddha.



I offer flowers
Before the Buddha's image --
This is his birthday.



Close together pushing onward
The spring waves heavily rise.



Day's getting longer
-Somewhere on the other side
Of so many clouds.



A springtime joyousness --
The buds are growing bigger.



Years have hurried past --
There's no path to the cherry

Where she once waited.



Just to recall in my heart
My love bubbling in old days.



The hottest day -- noon:
A dark butterfly with
Its mid-air shadow.



There's a lady who's shouting:
"I just need a breath of air!"



The demons screaming
All day long --during the night

Monks invade my dreams.



How I wish for a good time:
Generous autumn season!



Late chrysanthemum
On a horizontal stem
In persimmon leaves.



If my old scar is found out,
So what --I don't care at all.



Over the red haze
Its edges irregular --
Very thin new moon.



Field of autumnal flowers --
How we enjoyed our picnic!



A lonely cricket
In the bakery - chirping

With the worn machines.



How I hate the cruel war --
We have to kill each other.



Our linked verses
With no competitiveness

Unlike tennis, chess.



We are tied with warm friendship
In mutual understanding.



The marketplace smells
Replaced by daffodils

And the big roses.



Cherry blossoms in full bloom,
We live in peace in Japan.



Japanese - English translations by the authors.

November 3, 1992 - June 8, 1993 / Japan - USA

 

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