Isn't it funny how light changes our perception?
How dull rust leaves transform into crystal claret
When a beam of light finds its way to them -
Catching our eye as they seem to come alive?
Standing in the river valley at dawn
Before the light has crawled over the edge
Of the ridge of bareheaded mountains to the east
Everything seems dead, or at least dormant.
But then light begins to drip like honey
Down the limestone cliff, turning the stone golden
And seeming to set the leaves on fire
While the river remains hidden in shadows.
Then the light finally strikes a slow-moving pool
And the cliff is reflected like a brass mirror
Shimmering on its surface and leaking red
Into the deep purple-black water still unlit.
And my eyes follow where they are led.
I notice only what shines most brightly.
If I lived here, I might notice more.
But as a visitor, my eye flits from spectacle to spectacle.
Bamboo bending over the riverbank.
Moss covered walls dotted with maple leaves.
Couples in yukata and robes, strolling under the trees.
A postcard of pleasantness.
A Japanese would probably see the decay
And keen about the impermanence of things
But I see only the brightness of the sky
And the boldness of the reds and yellows at their height.
I feel lifted by the crispness of the air
The clarity of the sky clears my mind.
I know that summer is not dying
It is passing the burden of time to fall.
Spring is not the beginning.
Winter is not death.
We are just visitors
In one place, now.
But somewhere it is noon.
Somewhere it is spring.
And I may be in my fifties
But I am somewhere in my life.
From here my youth does not seem halcyon.
My old age does not seem ominous.
At this moment in time, I feel rock solid.
The light may shift and leave me unsteady.
But for now I will look around me
And be quietly pleased with what I see.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem