Silent, I knead my clay. Chieko's loom Clack-clackets as she weaves. A working mouse Gnaws at a peanut dropped to the floor of the room For which some sparrow-freeman of our house, Pecking, competes. A mantis perched on the line Sharpens its sickles; while, with a hop-skip-jump, Hunting blue flies, some spider darts to dine. Hung towels stir in the draft. With a sudden thump The mail arrives. The hands of the clock grind round. An iron pot, like a squat black cat-thing, purrs And hibiscus-leaves, green tongues stuck out, astound The air with impudence. Then, as the earth-fish stirs And a small ground-tremor sets the whole place shaking, Nervous cicadas instrumentalize Their sense of the world as a thing of a single making.
For all these things and creatures, pots and flies, Are mustered in patterns reflecting a master-fit.
And the noon-sun, huge, burns down, straight down, on it. Translated by Graeme Wilson