TANKA FROM PERSON OF THE PLAYFUL STAR

The palm of the hand
Has both a back and a front
Turning it over
And back again, a day spent
In sickness draws to a close



Since it was he who
Spilled the blood of tens of
Thousands of people
He should not die after
So many blood transfusions

(On hearing of the critical condition of the Shōwa Emperor)



Karma of women
And the karma of men
Entangling and
Dying the world the pattern
Of a serpent's stomach



Like a twisted rope
The karma of men and women
Continually
Clinging to one another
Yet still always pulled apart



I bathe myself to
My heart's content in the
Meteor shower
Later in my cancer ward
I bathe in radiation



Various wonders
Have already lost their sense
Of wonder
Wonderland heads for
Its own sure destruction



We roll the dice
And play our game, we the people
Of the playful star
Doing the forbidden and
Turning the skies round and round



Born as we are onto
This playful star of deep green
Why is it we do
Not dedicate ourselves to
Playing for all we are worth?

Translation: 2010, Jeffrey Angles

by Chimako Tada

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