Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Takako Arai

Shadows

In this place suddenly thrown into disarray
It is impossible to distinguish
Between what is garbage
What is not and what is still useable
So much earth, sand and dust
Has fallen that
Everywhere I see
A great can of refuse
The mucus I wipe on my sleeve is black
The throat and the lungs are eroded
Let it be, just the way it is…
Listless and resigned, I roll up my sleeves
And muster what little enthusiasm I can

I cannot let this be turned into a vacant lot
At least until I pick up the marble
I dropped here before it became this way
At least until I can pick through the refuse
And save at least one suitcase’s worth of pure junk

It will be completely stripped away
It will disappear
I must stretch out my hands
And hold fast to
The shadows of this land
In a suitcase I will surely
Never open again

翳(カゲ)たち

翳(カゲ)たち

ぐァらッと、崩されちまった場所で、
区別がつかない
ゴミと、
ゴミでないもの、まだ使っていけるものへも
土砂ぼこりが
あんまりも降りつもり、
見渡すかぎりゴミ箱なのだ
袖口で拭いた鼻水が、黒い
喉も肺も、浸蝕されて、
もうこのままでいい……放心(ぼうやり)を、
ナケナシが
ふり絞って、たくし上げても、

更地にしてはいけンのです
こうなる前に落としたビー玉を
拾うまでは、
せめて行李ひとつ分、
屑の中から、生ッ粋のガラクタを択(よ)るまでは、

一切、剥ぎとられンです、
消えるンです、
手を伸ばし、引きとどめねばなりません
きっと開けることない柳行李に
この土地の翳たちを、
Close

Shadows

In this place suddenly thrown into disarray
It is impossible to distinguish
Between what is garbage
What is not and what is still useable
So much earth, sand and dust
Has fallen that
Everywhere I see
A great can of refuse
The mucus I wipe on my sleeve is black
The throat and the lungs are eroded
Let it be, just the way it is…
Listless and resigned, I roll up my sleeves
And muster what little enthusiasm I can

I cannot let this be turned into a vacant lot
At least until I pick up the marble
I dropped here before it became this way
At least until I can pick through the refuse
And save at least one suitcase’s worth of pure junk

It will be completely stripped away
It will disappear
I must stretch out my hands
And hold fast to
The shadows of this land
In a suitcase I will surely
Never open again

Shadows

In this place suddenly thrown into disarray
It is impossible to distinguish
Between what is garbage
What is not and what is still useable
So much earth, sand and dust
Has fallen that
Everywhere I see
A great can of refuse
The mucus I wipe on my sleeve is black
The throat and the lungs are eroded
Let it be, just the way it is…
Listless and resigned, I roll up my sleeves
And muster what little enthusiasm I can

I cannot let this be turned into a vacant lot
At least until I pick up the marble
I dropped here before it became this way
At least until I can pick through the refuse
And save at least one suitcase’s worth of pure junk

It will be completely stripped away
It will disappear
I must stretch out my hands
And hold fast to
The shadows of this land
In a suitcase I will surely
Never open again
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
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