anxiety’s blindness

Every day my anxiety grew deeper,

until it enveloped me so thickly

that I could see nothing.

Alone in an illimitable desert

I wept hopelessly, as if in a nightmare in dawn

where the open mouth blue sky wept with me.

~Nakamura Chio*


my gift to you today…awakening seeds of calmness… right diligence


Women Poets of Japan

K Rexroth &  I Atsumi


There is a peaceful community

in a place of burned up hopes,

whiteblossombeside the tracks of dreams 

that drifted away

on the edge of a village

where crowds pass by.

There, men gather in harmony

to gaze like sheep and fawns.

On all the beautiful flowers

a sun comes and goes

through the clouds in freedom.

~Mitsui Futabako*


Women Poets of Japan

K Rexroth & I Atsumi

I think of you on such a night

The autumn wind is light,

The autumn moon is bright;

Fallen leaves gather but then disperse,

A cold crow roosts but again he stirs;

I think of you, and wonder when I’ll see you again?

At such an hour, on such a night, cruel is love’s pain?

~Li P0*



Li Po and Tu Fu

A Cooper

Different Dimensions

What is it? Something sought by everyone? Suddenly it splits me in two.

portraiture6of40-postureI feel free to walk anywhere, at least for now. I stride over the distant past.

Sometime ago, in a silence stronger than soy beans popping in the pan.

Hope? Waiting for footsteps? Perhaps to become a Heian court lady

surrounded by a screen of illusions waiting for some prince?

Or is it the prayer of a wife in war-time, anxious for her man in the field?

Don’t say it rises like a spinning wheel without hitting all the rungs.

Is it resolution? The blazing blue fame of mothers secretly resisting their patriarchs?

But I can’t get by on that alone. Why not simply break out?

I only have to get the rhythm down to fly through the day to day.

Like a pilot, astronaut I too am in a capsule, though.

~Atsumi Ikuko*


Women Poets of Japan

K Rexroth & Ikuko  Atsumi

oh how I wish they would stay


Tu Fu to Tao-Chien   Across the Centuries

Gone in a flash the bright flowers.

Old. How I wish they would stay!

Why can’t these present things

Be back in our younger days?

Drinking – sets free the mind

Writing – unfolds the heart

We would meet, Tao, in this thought

Though we cannot meet in time.

          ~Tu Fu (712-770)