May 21, 2015

Mariko Kitakubo

AFTER FUKUSHIMA

Tanka Sequence

1

when
will my later years
start?—
a mother cat has babies
at the ruined village

 

2

dim light
of cherry blossoms—
unstoppable
petal storm in the ruins
beyond my five senses

 

3

sounds
of the stream
in my homeland—
Strontium is soaking
into the placenta

 

4

cherry avenue
my late mother’s favorite …
is there
another world?
petal drift

 

5

there were
days when I had
my dream …
are you there now?
Betelgeuse

 

Translated from the Japanese by the author and Kath Abela Wilson;
Oldflute Shakuhachi by Rick Wilson

from Rattle #47, Spring 2015
Tribute to Japanese Forms

[download audio]

__________

Mariko Kitakubo: “While composing poems is the primary thing to do, I want to continue expressive activities by means of reading performances in and out of the country. I feel it meaningful to vibrate Japanese traditional rhythm sounds, consisting of units of five and seven syllables, in front of tanka lovers whose native language is not Japanese.” (website)