Archive for April 26, 2008

III

Posted in Haiku, Spring on April 26, 2008 by Gerald

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a spring day we had hoped forー

ricefields & mountains

mountains & ricefields

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At Home with Mt. Fuji

Posted in Haibun on April 26, 2008 by sosui

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Four years have passed since I moved from Hiroshima to Tachikawa. Brought up in my childhood looking at Mt. Fuji, it was my wish to spend my last years admiring the mountain. I had to look around quite a bit, but fortunately I found a suite of rooms in a condominium which was not beyond my means. I live now on the eleventh floor enjoying a superb view. Below my eyes runs the River Tama and far away I can see the range of the Tanzawa mountains. Mt. Fuji fills the wide gap between Mt. Omuro and Mt. Takao and soars far above the other mountains.

I climbed Mt. Fuji when I was a student — only once in my life. I was attending a meeting at a Christian retreat called Tozanso in Gotenba and there met a student from the Philippines, who wanted to climb Mt. Fuji. I volunteered to be his guide. The journey up the steep slope was harder than we expected. Our plan was to see the sunrise from the top, but the low temperature and lack of oxygen forced us to spend the night in a hut at the eighth station. However, it was breath-taking to see the sun come out the next morning and change the whole world suddenly in an eye blink. I can never forget the sight of my own long shadow stretching across the clouds. My Filipino friend was excited about the snow, which he touched for the first time in his life.

Now I am classified by the Health Ministry in the category of ‘post-advanced age’. I satisfy myself, therefore, with just looking at Mt. Fuji from my balcony. Truly, Mt. Fuji has myriad faces. Sometimes it looks far away, at other times very near indeed. Sometimes it looks gentle and mild, at others, very severe and gloomy. Its colour changes, too, from pure white to light blue, and again to deep red. It is quite impossible to describe all the changes of Mt. Fuji throughout the year. It is no exaggeration to say that we can never see the same mountain twice at any time. Mt. Fuji is truly a wonder of natural creation.

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At home with Fuji

Spring, summer, autumn, winter

For the past four years.

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Spotless like silk cloth,

Mt. Fuji purifies my heart

Through and through.

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Mt. Fuji afloat —

A line of geese above it

Departing in the mist.

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The long rain lifting,

Mt. Fuji emerges from clouds

In its light-blue garb.

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The winter solstice —

Sun drops down to Mt. Fuji

Sinking behind its peak.