Ryuichi Tamura Poems

Hit Title Date Added

I should never have learned words
how much better off I'd be
if I lived in a world
where meanings didn't matter,
the world with no words

If beautiful words take revenge against you
it's none of my concern
If quiet meanings make you bleed
it also is none of my concern

The tears in your gentle eyes
the pain that drips from your silent tongue -
I'd simply gaze at them and walk away
if our world had no words

In your tears
is there meaning like the core of a fruit?
In a drop of your blood
is there a shimmering resonance of the evening glow
of this world's sunset?

I should never have learned words
Simply because I know Japanese and bits of a foreign tongue
I stand still inside your tears
I come back alone into your blood


I found footmarks in the snow
When I saw them
I witnessed, for the first time,
a world ruled by
small animals, little birds and beasts of the woods
Take the squirrel, for example -
his clawmarks came down the old elm tree
crossed the footpath
and disappeared into a grove of fir trees
I saw in them
not a moment of hesitation, unease, or smart question marks
Take the fox, too -
his footprints went on and on,
straight, down the path along the valley
on the north side of a village
The hunger I know
would never trace a line that straight
My mind never possessed the nimble, blind, affirmative
rhythms of those footmarks
Take, for example, the single bird -
her footprints cleaner than her voice,
her nail marks more defined than her life
her wings carved against the snowy slope
The fear I know
would never manifest itself in such a simple pattern
My mind never moved to such sensual, heathen, and affirmative
rhythms as her wings

All of a sudden a gigantic sunset reaches the top of Mt. Asama
Some presence
shapes the forest,
pushes open the valley's mouth,
and rips apart the cold air
I return to a shack
I start a fire in a stove
I am
an invisible tree
an invisible bird
an invisible small animal
I think only of invisible rhythms


Hoya is now
in the middle of autumn. I am now
in the middle of misery
The misery has deep origins
It has a deep-rooted history.

Blazing summer has finally ended
Autumn breezes pass from one end to the other of the Musashino plain
My small house sits on a spot
in dark Musashino, silent Musashino

In my small house
I have a small room of my own
In the small room I turn on a light
I labor, zeroing in on my misery,
until the deep-rooted misery in my heart
thrusts its roots into the earth, and
grows into that gigantic Zelkova tree
in my forsaken backyard



The world with no words is a sphere in bright daylight
I am an upright man

The world with no words is the world of poetry at noon.
I cannot stay horizontal


I must use words to find the world with no words
I must find a sphere in bright daylight, poetry at noon
I am an upright man
I cannot stay horizontal


In the bright daylight of June
the sun was above my head
I was among a huge herd of rocks
the rocks were corpses
An active volcano
had erupted
to spread energy
to spew lava,
that died

Why at this time
is every shape a corpse of energy?
Why at this moment
is every color and rhythm a corpse of energy?
A bird,
a large eagle, for example,
watches, but does not judge
as he slowly circles above us
Why at this time
does he merely observe every shape of energy?
Why at this time
would he not try to judge
every color and rhythm?
Rocks are corpses
I drink milk and
gnaw away at bread like a grenadier


the morphology of extinct energy
white-hot flow that has denied itself fluidity
images of flames that have completely cooled
having not been formed by love and fear


A bird's eyes are evil itself
He watches, but does not judge
A bird's tongue is evil itself
He swallows, but does not judge


Look, the sharply cleft tongue of a mountain crow
Look, a great spotted woodpecker's tongue like a heathen god's spear
Look, a mountain snipe's tongue like an engraver's chisel
Look, a tiger thrush's tongue, a pliable deadly weapon

He watches, but does not judge
He swallows, but does not judge


I walk
down a path cold as Pluto
I go down the path 13 kilometers to a shack
along the lava flow
along the path of death and procreation
along the path of an ebb tide more gigantic than I have ever seen

I am a grenadier
I am a ship-wrecked sailor
I am a bird's eye
I am an owl's tongue


I watch with my blind eyes
I fall, with my blind eyes open
I hang out my tongue and destroy tree bark
I hang out my tongue, but not to caress love or justice
Thorns grow on my tongue like harpoons. They are not for easing fear and hunger


The way of death and procreation is
the way of small animals and insects
It is a way with no criticism or anti-criticism
with no meaning of meanings
with no criticism of criticisms
with no swarm of honey bees noisily buzzing away
with no needles, in thousands and tens of thousands, lying in ambush
It is a way with no vain constructions or petty hopes
It is a way where there's absolutely no use for metaphors, symbols, or imagination
What it has are destruction and procreation
What it has are re-creation and fragmentation
What it has are fragments and fragments inside fragments
What it has are broken pieces and broken pieces inside broken pieces
What it has is a gigantic pattern inside a pattern
It is the way of similes in cold June
Air sacs branch out of vermillion lungs
Allowing its air sacs as cold as ice to infuse air to the marrow of its bones
a bird flies
A bird flies inside a bird.


The bird's eyes are evil itself
The bird's tongue is evil itself
He destroys, but does not build
He re-creates, but does not create
He is a fragment, a fragment inside a fragment
He has an air sac, but he does not have a hollow heart
His eyes and his tongue are evil itself, but he is not evil
Burn, Bird
Burn, Bird, all Birds
Burn, Bird, small animals, every small animal
Burn, death and procreation
Burn, way of death and procreation


The June thoroughly chilled, like Pluto
The way as utterly cold as Pluto
I run down
the way of death and procreation
I am adrift
I fly

I am a grenadier
I am also a brave enemy
I am a shipwrecked sailor
But I am an ebbing tide
I am a bird
I am also a blind hunter
I am a hunter
I am an enemy
I am a brave enemy


I will get
to the shack by sundown
Short scrawny shrubs will turn into a huge forest
and the flowing lava, the sun and the ebbing tide
will be stopped by my tiny dream
I will drink a glass of bitter water
as if it were poison, I will drink it slowly
I will close my eyes, and open them again
I will cut whiskey with water


I will not go back to the shack
I could not cut words with meanings
as one cuts whiskey with water


The wheat harvest is done, and
Summer has arrived for humans
Massive lush greenery
is now hiding
the path that was visible far ahead

If a poet's job is
to see what is not visible
human summer is
a season of hell for a minor poet
With a straw hat on his head

a thin fellow is running down a footpath between rice paddies
Some say beautiful poetry hides
a poisonous snake to snare you
He must be flying through a village microcosm
so as not to be bitten by the snake


In my dreams
the sun
is always above my head
and it keeps growing a pitch-black corona
Since midday
on that summer's day
30 years ago
incomprehensible dreams have persisted
dreams of a strange circulatory movement
of the sun and the blackness

at the end of each dream
always a vertical thin line
divides the corona
When I wake up from the dream
the thin line starts from
a small Zen temple
at Wakasa
at noon
on August 15, 1945
stretches to the small yard
of my house
at 5-38-18 Inamuragasaki

Did my feet
step off the thin line?
Or did they not?

Did they not?
Did they?

October Poem

Crisis is my nature
There is a fierce hurricane of feelings
under my smooth skin There is
a fresh corpse thrown up
on the desolate shore of October

October is my Empire
My delicate hands control things to be lost
My small eyes watch things that are to disappear
My soft ears listen to the silence of people who are to die

Fear is my nature
The Time that murders everything
flows in my rich blood There is
a new hunger trembling
in the cold sky of October

October is my Empire
My dead armies occupy all cities where rain falls
My dead patrol planes circle in the sky above the lost souls
My dead mobs sign their names for the people who are going to die

The Way Home

I shouldn't have learned a language
A world without words
How good it would be
If I lived in a world where meaning does not become meaning

Even if you are revenged by beautiful words
It has nothing to do with me
And even though you shed blood for some quiet meaning
It has nothing to do with me either

The tears that are in your tender eyes
The pain that is falling from the tongue of your silence
If there were no words in our world
I would merely stare at it and leave

Is there as much meaning in your tears
as there is in the core of a piece of fruit
Is there an echo of the sunset in one drop of your blood
which makes you tremble in the twilight of this world

I shouldn't have learned a language
Simply because I learned Japanese and bits of foreign languages
I stand still inside your tears
I return absolutely alone into your blood

Withered Leaves

they died without even shedding green

before they return to the soil
they change to the color of soil
the color of
the silence that has died one death

why does everything
seem transparent even though we walked endlessly
through the border of day and night
through the withered leaves

a man
whose star is fixed
does not turn back


What kind of dream do you have
when you wake up
Are you being chased
to the end of the earth by a blue lion?
or do you drift while you drink golden whiskey
in the arms of a dead man?

Morning the bell of a hung over telephone rings
You stretch out your leaden arms
Oh I wasn't having such bad dreams
the blue lion and
the golden whiskey

At the moment you wake up
things that go to sleep for the first time inside you
you see only in dreams
I cannot say it well but
at a certain moment in a man's life
there is even a dream
where you cannot see the horizon on land or sea

Error Success