Palm by Saijo Yaso (掌 / 西條八十)

Why do I hold out the palm of my hand
When I could want for nothing more —
Yellow pollen scatters in the spring
Freezing snow gathers in the winter.

Is this really the palm of my hand?
Mute iron chains rooted in the depressions,
Fingerprint children on five hills
Still pretending not to dream of green grass.

Somewhere a bird cries out
It no longer flies into the palm of my hand,
A gold coin falls in the rustling leaves,
Is this the price of the art I dreamed in youth?

When my family is sound asleep,
I spend the night holding my palm out the window,
Howling like a gust of cold wind
My palm weeps in the light of the moon.

* * *

なんのためにさし出した掌か
もう欲しいものとて無いのに  
春は黄ろい花粉がこぼれ
冬はさむざむと雪がかかる。

これがわたしの掌か、
窪みにわだかまる鉄鎖の無言、
指紋の幼児は五つの丘で
まだ青草の夢に見恍(みほ)けてゐる。

どこかで鳥が啼く
鳥はもうわたしの掌へは来なくなつた、
落葉がさらさらと金貨を落す、
これが幼い日わたしが夢みた芸術の価(あたい)であつたか。

家族たちよ、みんな眠れ、
わたしは今夜も徹宵(よつぴて)窓外に掌をさしだす、
凩は濤(なみ)のやうに吼(ほ)えて
月の光のなかで掌は歔欷(きよき)してゐる。

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