The Persimmon Tree

When the persimmon's mellow sweetness permeates into my tongue,
Capillary vessels carry my mind back to Japan's cozy childhood:
An aged giant persimmon tree thickly covered with foliage
Hugged a black tile roof house I was born under the shadow.
While my mother retailed tobaccos, charcoals, stick incenses,
My father commuted on foot to a mountain school for teaching.

When the persimmon's greenish tannin benumbs over my tongue,
Alert signal drives me to indulge in the hard old days pathos:
Opposite edge of the branches leaned against a thatched roof
Where a strolling vaudevillian family stayed for a festival.
While a wretched husband and wife team entertained people,
A thin girl in my age of the couple played hopscotch with me.

When the persimmon's red fruits are spotted in the video screen,
A sentimental scenery crosses vividly throughout my meditation:
Brittel sprigs spread in the sky hung juicy lanterns sparsely
Among the survived orange leaves reflected on the setting sun.
While all silhouettes were stretched eastward in late fall,
Ravens flew to their nest as temples' bells tolled in the dusk.

by Esaku Kondo

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