20091019

Yoko Danno


from AQUAMARINE

1. fool's gold

now up,
                       now down,

     like socks
         in a tumbler drier,

      a bunch of
         my thoughts
                         whirls

     even before a major typhoon arrives –

absent-minded,
                or without mind,
     in crossing swords
                with a praying
                               mantis,
     most importantly,
                breathe at ease,
         free
                from the ringing
                                             in your memory –

if you are hungry
         after a warm-up,
     have some chocolate

wrapped in silver foil
         with a slip of paper
     that reads: “mica flakes, fool's gold”


2. aquamarine

hash! a sign of
         a landslide!

       birds stop
                singing –

no time
       to eat
                  blueberries
                        we have plucked,
                      or re-lace our
                              muddy boots –

                      deep
                          down,
                               rock
                                   walls
                                        melt
                      through friction,
                                                       the live
                              hot water
                                crystallized
                                   into a tint
                                     of seawater,
                                       in a bed of mica –

the blue-green radiance
                                                       confined
                                                               under my pillow –


3. a narrow pathway

if i turn
a somersault,
         gravity-free,
my
chance
to right myself
may slip through
fingers –

i have to decide
which end
is top
or bottom,
as i tumble
in midair
in a nightmare
maze –

after seeing a child
glide down
the slide
in high glee
         into purple dusk,
i turn
over again
on a balance beam –

a fair landing!
i am
prepared
for the birth

of my own mother –


Yoko Danno was born, raised and educated in Japan. All of her poems have been written solely in English. She has published several volumes of poetry, including trilogy (1970, 2004), Dusty Mirror (1977), Hagoromo: A Celestial Robe (1984, 2004) – all published by The Ikuta Press, Kobe – Epitaph for memories (The Bunny and Crocodile Press, Washington D.C., 2002), The Blue Door (collaboration with James C. Hopkins (The Word Works, Washington D.C., 2006) and A Sleeping Tiger Dreams of Manhattan: simultaneous poetry, photographs and sound by Danno, Hopkins & Bernard Stoltz (The Ikuta Press, 2008). Songs and Stories of the Kojiki (Ahadada Books, Tokyo/Toronto, 2008) is a translation of Japanese mythology compiled in the 8th C.

 
 
 
 
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