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The Parable of the Weeds

Translated from the original Japanese by Yuki Tanaka and Mary Jo Bang

On Rock

Lightning shatters on the trap of time and space.
The voice that says “I” over the ancient bones of earth now struggles to
          become something.
A shore formed by erratic boulders, the falling halo of this—


Cosmic fish circle the reef in the system of self.
Mud spreads from the pre-Copernican era—
Inside sleep, a layer of peat begins to burn.


A horde of starved wanderers searches for a fountain.
In a sinkhole, they rip up ears, form pellets, shoot down birds and devour
          them, day and night.
Entangled in the tree of everyday life, a skeleton has kindled the dream of
          a dense forest.


Since beginningless time, buried in worldly phenomena.

Dust falls on the land of the rebels against heaven, fortune-tellers perceive
          the horizon on the palms of hands.
No medicinal herbs to search for, stone axes sink into the crack of eternity.

Above the tops of white trees that turn the stars into crystalline thorns, the
          waning moon—
Throw a bone on the fire, warm a sparrow’s egg. “Hatch, and become a