On The Shore

The winter sun was at its zenith.
His head poking above dry grass on a riverbank,
an old man of eighty-nine was fishing.
Holding a pole,
talking over old times with winter fish
swimming under reflected scatterd clouds,
he died.
The glittering
sun was lowering.
A cabbage butterfly tottered
toward the other bank.

Fish were calling the old man.
A small red cork
bobbing up and down,
made faint ripples.
by Shinjiro Kurahara
from Iwana
publisher Dowaya, Tokyo, 2010
translation Mariko Kurihara, William I. Elliott, Katsumasa Nishihara


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