Morning Clouds

Residue of a dream.

mt fuji japan

At the fringes of the clouds

there still lingered, hesitant, 

that person.

We kept silent, learned 

to dance a little, as if

opened suddenly.

A body of dance flowed

into our bodies. Our blood


We studied, and suddenly

couldn’t speak. The heart


It started to rain, and we

watched the mountain

through the rain.

When winter came, we

jumped in time until

we couldn’t anymore.

Tears wet the face.

Was it good? We tried

to imagine.

The voice wouldn’t 

come, but the crying


What do you mean, someone

said, by happiness?

The reply: ask yourself, and

these were the best words

for our farewell.


Today is the birthday of Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972), a Japanese writer renowned for his pared-down lyricism, and the subtle shading of his prose. In 1968, Kawabata became the first Japanese author to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Today’s post is assembled from phrases borrowed from Kawabata’s short story “Morning Clouds,” translated from Japanese by Lane Dunlop.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: