10 Tanka of Corona Moon
A particle of word on the surface of the doorknob.
You came in. You touched my silence with that hand.
Being deadly alive.
I the virus it will be sunny then cloudy with some annihilation.
My giant panda and your king penguin
dancing waltz on the pedestrian crossing, as we pass each other
casually holding our breath.
Used surgical masks on the streets all over the town.
What makes me want to bend down, pick up and press them to my mouth, Love?
So, it’s just another petal of moment that gets you infected.
Watching the hydrangea from the top of its piles.
They say that the Chinese character for cloud 雲 includes a fragment of soul 魂.
The sky is filled with the clouds today.
Looking at the rain makes you feel like the core of your body melts away
leaving behind just the sound of the rain.
No more counting, please. Death is the one and only Klein bottle.
Cobblestones, honeycomb, nebula.
It oozes out through the cracks of the thronging masses.
“Saving lives precedes anything else”
Is it so? The portrait photo of Shiro our late dog
enter into a mountain
bears the lightness
of the sky
bears the hardness
of a rock
beads of sweat
on the temple
on the tips of the leaves
capsuled in a droplet
is this spring
on the moss
walk on the road
is a woman
of the country
caressed with eyes
the time is
a ripple spreads in the sky
into the sea
in the air
Yasuhiro Yotsumoto (born 1959) has published 13 books of poetry including A Laughing Bug (1991), The World Congress of the Middle Aged (2002, won the Yamamoto Kenichi Award), Afternoon of Forbidden Words, (2003, won the Hagiwara Sakutaro Award), Prisoner of Japanese (2012, won the Ayukawa Nobuo Award), Drip Drop Monotony, Sloppily, Wildly (2017) and Novel (2017). English translations include Family Room and Poems of MINASHITA KIRYU, YOTSUMOTO YASUHIRO & SOH SAKON (both from Vagabond Press). He has also published two full-length novels, The Fake Poet (2015), and The Poetic Diary of a Prostate Gland (2018), which followed the classic style of combining verse and prose. Yasuhiro is also active in the areas of translation (Stay home on Earth! – an anthology of Covid 19 related poems from around the world, The Poetic Works Homo Sapiens – an anthology of the contemporary poetry from 32 poets in 22 countries, Kid by Simon Armitage) and literary criticism (Shuntarology, a thesis on the poetics of Shuntaro Tanikawa and the collected essays To Dear Poets! ). His latest book of translation is The Selected Poems of Shinkawa Kazue, scheduled to be published later this year by Vagabond Press.