road to the capital

Traveling far, I cross mountains and rivers;
the mountains and rivers are long and are broad.
Waving my whip, I climb gentle slopes;
relaxing the reins, I follow level grasslands.
At evening I rest, and sleep holding my shadow;
at morning I move on, and go bearing my thoughts.
Stopping the reins, I lean on soaring crags;
listening hard, I hear the sad wind’s echoes.
White light falls onto the clear dew;
how bright the full moon shines!
Slapping my pillow, I cannot sleep;
arranging my clothes, alone in lengthy longings…

Kakinomoto Hitomaro

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journey

The bamboo grass
Sighs in its tangled rustling
Deep within the mountains,
But my longing remains untangled
When I have left the one I love.

Kakinomoto Hitomaro

winter dream

To *** Her

In Winter, we’ll travel in a small pink coach
With blue cushions,
Well installed, mad kisses nesting
In cosy corners.

You’ll close your eyes, not to see through the glass
The leer of dark evening,
Snarling monster, droves of black demons,
Packs of black wolves.

Then you’ll feel something scratch against your cheek…
A little kiss, brief as a startled spider,
Will run up your neck…

You’ll bow your head and say: ‘Find it for me!’
–And we’ll take the time it takes to find that creature
–Which loves to travel…

Arthur Rimbaud