Sacred Tree                                                                               Arai Takako

 

 

Ages and ages ago,

When a woodsman tried to cut down a magnificent cedar,

But broke his arm,

Yet kept trying to cut it down

Until he threw his back out,

Yet kept trying to cut it down,

Until the blood

Began to flow from the trunk

 

My eyes deceive me, he thought,

You and I have both been deceived,

Or so the woodcutter believed,

And kept on cutting

Until that trunk

Was soaked in blood,

 

My mind’s playing tricks on me, he thought,

My mind’s playing tricks on me, he believed,

 

You and 

 

Stood there,

Soaked in blood

 

 

             ––––Translation by Jordan A.Y. Smith