Inku
Japan Society of Fairfield County

Tanka(10)
by Dr. Ikuko Anjo Jassey

下仁田の葱を片手に霜柱釈迦釈迦ふみて亡母くる月夜
Shimonita no   negi o katate ni   shimobashira   shakashaka humite   haha kuru tsukuyo

In a moonlit night
in her hand—shimonita leeks still in dirt
My departed mom returns
stepping on frost columns
making crisp sounds
 

お袋は種を残せと言ったっけ俺のことだか芋のことだか
Ohukuro wa   tane o nokose to   ittakke   ore no koto daka   imo no koto daka 

Mom told me to save seeds
I’m not sure what she meant—
Me or potatoes


ひび割れた心に金糊の継を入れ汲みあげんとや夢のしずくを
Hibiwareta   kokoro ni kin no   tsugi o ire   kumiagen toya   yume no shizuku o

Mending a cracked heart
with a gold patch
You say you will tow
drips of dreams


一生は思いの華の果実らし今日食むぶどう種ありて酸い
Issho wa   omoi no hana no   kajitsu rashi    kyo hamu budoo   tane arite sui

Someone says
life is a fruit of thoughts—
 grapes I taste today
seedy and sour


藕糸をば切らんとすれど切れるよで切れぬ寂しい朧の月夜
Guushi o ba   kiran to suredo   kireru yode   kirenu sabishii   oborono tsukiyo

Trying to cut off my arrogance
seemingly I can disconnect it, but I can’t
A hazy moonlit night—
lonesome


咲き遅れこんなにも紅 薮椿 粉雪の舞う弥生九日
Saki okure   konnani mo kurenai   yabutsubaki   konayuki no mau   yayoi kokonoka

A late blooming camellia—so red
March ninth
powdery snow dancing


すげ替えた紅い鼻緒がまた切れて泣いているよな昭和の日暮れ
Suge kaeta   akai hanao ga  mata kirete   naite iru yona   showa no higure

An evening glow of the Showa era—
as if it were sobbing
the fixed red thongs over wooden clogs
snapped again
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