Page XVI

cooling in the afternoon -
          half the guys on the seawall
have their shirts off

Loving you, my head is confused
though my heart is not.
Was that the song of a bird,
or the sound of your voice calling my name?

Death's out looking for you.
When he finds out what you're up to,
he'll set his traps to ruin you.

By the willow in the backyard,
       a swarm of fireflies -
oh starry night

Afraid of life one day, full of courage
the next.  I'm like the tide
that tonight covers the rocks and pier,
and tomorrow brings everything to the surface

The butterflies around my head, did they come
from my dream, as I wake
from sleep in the afternoon summer grasses

I never want to die, except of love -
thus would I say to someone
who asks me how long I'd like to live

Grasp the inner quality,
don't be trapped by appearances.
The sweetness of the melon isn't known
by the color of its skin.

Drunk as I am in the ruins
of my own heart -
I've no one else to dance for,
no other love to sing

Our eyes love each other the way hands
love satin and silk, the way
a man twenty days in the desert
goes down on his hands and knees in an oasis
to take his first drink of water

I say, what we have between us is something more.
You say, oh no it's not.
I say, I have to have you or else I'll die.
You say, well die then.
I say, you'll keep on torturing me until I tell you
        all my secrets
You say, go right on talking.

Know the power of your own words,
the way wood knows its fire.
In the furnace of one truth,
a thousand lies reduced to ash.

Pierce one truth, you've started with them all.
Like a string of priceless beads around the neck
the truth in you shines.

No other word but the word of love
Don't open your lips
until that rose is ready to bloom

the sweltering summer heat -
       I take the stairs to his place
two at a time

First rainfall of summer -
           lightning in the north,
thunder from the east

I've nothing left to hide -
the sea breeze this morning feels cool on my face

First summer night -
        the cricket I saved from the cat
sings on the balcony

I'm the summer grasses trampled beneath your hooves
the cool stream water your lovely neck bends to drink from

No wind blows through the palm trees this evening,
          but in my heart my thoughts
trouble me with a force as strong as any gale

Repeating wise words,
what will you gain from it?
Until the heart changes its tune,
the song can't be sung.

After the meal -
                     the flies,
rubbing their hands

Autumn with its sorrows
has come to my bedside
In my dreams there are
flowers in a field in May

Even if the leaves on the tree of your love
were to change color and fall,
the springs to come would faithfully bring forth others

As soon as the sun falls -
       I raise my voice
with the cicadas

I am thinking of you
you are thinking of me
Back and forth go our thoughts
To put an end to it,
you know you'll have to come

The sky is overcast.  The moon is hidden.
I cannot make out what is in his heart,
though I listen to him for days.

Thunderclouds fill the sky over the bay.
Rain comes this way, visible at a great distance.
Those days when I hoped and prayed for
your return are gone.

I'm the moon that throws the light
of your sun across the midnight bay,
the waves that roll up
and kiss you upon your most private shore.

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