Footsteps Overhead by Takami Jun (天の足音 / 高見順)

Looking at the sky
I hear the footsteps of a camel approaching
Footsteps on the sand, I don’t know whether
the sound
is light and carefree
or heavy and lonely
I listen carefully
but they are like human footsteps
mysterious
without taste or color

* * *

空を見てゐると
駱駝の足音が聞こえてくる
砂を踏む足音かどうか
その音は
いそいそとして楽しげであるか
それとも重々しくさびしいか
耳をすますが
それは人生の足音のやうに
不可解である
無味無色である

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Black by Takami Jun (黒 / 高見順)

Oh, island!
Small island in the landscape of my heart!
Black island like dried blood!

Countless birds fly up from a single spot
Bloodstained feathers flying like a whirlpool
And all at once the small black island settles down again

Then once more they quickly rise up
Like the rancid breath of a beast
An endlessly repeating flight of black birds

Shoot the birds
Oh, hunter!
Hunter inside of me!
Shoot them, these black birds and this black island

* * *

おゝ 嶋(しま)よ
心の風景の中の小さな嶋よ
乾いた血のやうな黒い嶋よ

無数の鳥がその一点から飛び立ち
血のついた羽毛を渦のごとくに飛ばして
また黒い小さな嶋に一斉にをさまる

するとまたもや遽(あわただ)しく飛び立ち
けものの生臭い息のやうに
はてしなく繰り返される黒い鳥の群の飛び立ち

その鳥を打て
おゝ 猟人(かりゅうど)よ
私の内なる猟人よ
その黒い鳥と黒い嶋を打て

Looking at the Sky by Takami Jun (空を見てゐると / 高見順)

Looking at the sky
Something like a small black butterfly
Flew out from my heart
I had lost something
And yet it felt like something was gained

* * *

空を見てゐると
黒く小さな蝶のやうなものが
僕の胸から飛びたつた
僕は何か失つたのである
だのに何かが加へられたやうな気がした

Like a Seed in a Grape by Takami Jun (葡萄に種子があるやうに / 高見順)

Like a seed in a grape
There is grief in my heart

Just as green grapes
Are turned into wine
So the grief in my heart!
Turn it into joy

* * *

葡萄に種子があるやうに
私の胸に悲しみがある

青い葡萄が
酒に成るやうに
私の胸の悲しみよ
喜びに成れ

Leaf Veins by Takami Jun (葉脈 / 高見順)

I was sketching a tree leaf
I was struck by the beauty of its veins
I wanted to draw that beauty

It took great pains, but in the end
I drew the veins down to the last detail
The result was a hideous and eerie leaf

I must have been about ten years old
How the years just slip away
Oh, some thirty years have passed since that day

Thirty years later
And I am still struck by the beauty of those veins
I am struck by the brevity of thirty years

I still marvel when I see leaf veins in detail
And like the ugliness of that detailed sketch I once drew
I remember in detail the ugliness of those thirty years

* * *

僕は木の葉を写生してゐた
僕は葉脈の美しさに感嘆した
僕はその美しさを描きたかつた

苦心の作品は しかし
その葉脈を末の末までこまかく描いた
醜悪で不気味な葉であつた

それはたしかに十歳位の頃だつた
それはついこの間のやうで
あゝ その日から三十何年経つてゐる

三十何年振りに僕は
葉脈の美しさに感嘆してゐる
三十何年の早さ短さに感嘆してゐる

感嘆しつゝこまかい葉脈を見てゐると
嘗(かつ)てのこまかい写生の醜さのやうに
自分の三十何年のこまかい醜さがありありと思ひ出される

A Bird’s Shadow by Takami Jun (鳥の影/高見順)

Over the trees atop the cliff
a bird
cast its beautiful black shadow
and flew away

I wish
while out on a walk
on a morning such as this
that a bird like a sparrow
would throw its small, cool shadow across my shoulders and my face

* * *

崖の木々に
鳥が
きれいな黒い影を落して
飛んで行つた

僕も
こんな朝は
外を散歩して
肩から顔にかけて
雀などの小さなすがすがしい影をうけてみたい

Wanting to Disappear by Takami Jun (消えたがる/高見順)

Water wants to disappear under the ground
Even the water that welled up from my heart,
as soon as it falls on the ground with the rest,
it already wishes it were disappearing
The pure thoughts of my dirty mind
are also quick to hide from the public eye

水は地下に消えたがる
私の心から湧いた水も
地上にあらわれるとともに
忽ちもう消えたがっている
きたない私のこの澄んだおもいも
ひと目から早く隠れたがっている