|Waterlilies||10. View at Enza-no-matsu Pine at Aoyama|
No haiku here--we get the whole hill, each trunk
The fog laid across the paper like a World War I gas attack,
And down here in a corner, out on the ledge,
Humans intrude, no, celebrate the view--
One traveler points out Fuji to his friend
While the others sit, next to wood chests,
Sharing a single red lacquer bowl.
I can taste the broth. Even so, this scene
Was edited, carts omitted, lice left out,
And skinny poles poking up out of the valley,
Where someone's saki factory was expanding.
The untouched enormity reminds me of Tokyo subway ads,
Where, through the hundred elbows and heads,
You see a single woman squatting in zazen,
Staring at a hill empty of crowds, just green grass.
To isolate beauty in Japan, you must block out
Buses, laundry, coffee shops, and electric lines.
Hokusai knew how. His epic camera sweeps
Enlarging this great swath of pines,
Emphasizing the country's sky, displaying his own art,
And, not so incidentally, spotlighting Mount Fuji.
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Copyright 1998-1999 Jonathan Price, The Communication Circle
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