Wednesday, 23 March 2016


There is a hole inside
It yawns and burns
And for countless years on end, nothing has filled it.

None of the beautiful things in the world could fill it.

The gales that sweep the marshes of Kenashitai roar in a thousand colours
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

The autumn leaves of high Aizu dance in a sea of flames
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

The namahage of Oga shuffle and wave their cleavers and bellow incomprehensible words
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

Date Masamune of Sendai tells it a hundred stories about his own brilliance
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

The red and orange dragonflies of Furano fly to my side, an escort up the ridge
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

The fuzzy monkeys of Jigokudani come up to it with curious faces and poke it
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

The twin summits of Tsukuba stand with the female peak satisfyingly higher than the male peak
But they do not fill it, and everything hurts.

The gorgeous mountains of Chichibu, Tama, Tanzawa, Hakone and Kōshu disrobe before me, lead me into their realms, bid me walk and slide upon their slopes and their curves, to lose myself amidst their valleys and dark places.
They are such beautiful mountains.
But alas, they are earth and stone, while I am flesh
So they do not fill the hole, and everything hurts.

Everything hurts; I can only weep
I have wept on the peaks and peninsulas of Aomori
I have wept in the secluded ravines of Fukushima
I have wept in the endless ricefields of Akita
I have wept amidst the steaming springs of Miyagi
I have wept on the lush plains of Hokkaido
I have wept in the freezing snows of Nagano
I have even wept on the roads of Ibaraki which stretch across the horizons
And I have wept on each of the slopes and curves, the valleys and dark places around the Kantō plain
Where only the mountains hear
And only the mountains care.

But nothing fills the hole.
For how can even the most beautiful things in the world fill the hole
When there is no hug
No warmth?

And how can there be warmth
In a world of otoko ga, onna ni
Or otoko ga, onna o?*
In a world where it is expected
That women are rescued by men
But where for men to be rescued by women is thought ridiculous?

Not by the mountains, mind you.
The mountains are vast
They are kind
They are strong
They do not care that you are smaller than them, or weaker
For they enjoy your company, they listen and talk and it is not small talk.
They teach you and learn from you
Want to be friends with you even if you are sad
And will soak your tears in their soil, their snow, no matter how loud, no matter how long
While on the other hand, those who come in arrogance and gallantry are crushed.
In either case, you are left in no doubt that it is yama ga, anata ni
Or yama ga, anata o**
And they like it that way
The mountains like to play
They do not wait to be acted upon, but reach out to touch you, to take you, to draw you into their world, and to hug, because they like it.
Their wind sweeps upon you, and hugs
Their shuffling branches descend upon you, and hug
Their mud slides underfoot and brings you to the ground, and hugs
Their spider webs stick in your face, and hug
And their fuzzy bears come out from the woods and go rawr rawr, and hug.
The mountains love.
They hold you in the power of their rippling ridges, the fragrance of their woods, the songs of their birds and winds that whisper peace into your soul.
And they do not see love as something you want and they have,
no: not a thing to be won, or bought, or competed for,
nor made conditional on scoring happy-points with them.
No – the love of the mountains is love, real love, that reaches out and leaves nobody behind
For they are vast
They are kind
They are strong.

These human women
I wish at least some were more like those mountains
For in a world like this
There is no warmth

otoko = man
onna = woman
ga = (indicates subject)
o = (indicates object)
ni = (indicates target or recipient)

yama = mountain
anata = you

Thursday, 17 March 2016

A Walking Wall

17th March 2016

It's a wall.
What is there to see? It's only a walking wall.
A walking wall with a drawing of a sad face on it.
Nothing more than a wall.

How should I know how long it's been there? It's a wall. It sits there. It walks around. That's what walls do.
Let's talk with people instead. What point is there in talking to a wall?
A walking wall with a drawing of a sad face on it.
Come on, let's go. It's not as though walls need friends.
Walls can't talk. That sound is just bits of stone crumbling off. It's not as though it means something.
Walls don't cry. That's just the rain water leaking out through its holes.
Walls don't scream. That's just the wind howling through its cracks.
Such shoddy construction. What an ugly wall. I don't want to look at it. Come on, let's go and do happy things instead.
Only a fool would waste time on a wall.

Walls neither happen nor are happened to. They are just there.
You don't think about a wall. It is just there.
You don't talk to a wall. You stand next to it and talk to people.
You don't laugh with a wall. You sit on it and laugh with people.
You don't love a wall. You hide behind it and pretend to love people.
You don't care for a wall. You care for the people on one side and hate the people on the other.
The wall is just there. That is all. It is not as though it sees or hears you doing these things.

Look out!
That was close, the damn thing almost fell on you!
What were you thinking? That the wall wants a hug? What the heck would a wall need hugs for?
Dodgy, creepy, dangerous wall! You hurt people on purpose, don't you? Kick. Kick.
You should kick it too. It's fine to beat and shout at a wall. It's not as though a wall feels pain.

Well, this worthless thing could fall down at any moment. Let's leave it here and go and do something fun.
Hmph. Next you'll be saying the wall is lonely and wants to come with us. But you know, it's only a wall.
Walls have no empathy. Why give them attention? They will only make you upset.
Who would ever want a negative wall like this anyway? This walking, crying, howling wall with a drawing of a sad face on it.
Only a fool would love a wall.


Every wall must fall one day
Collapse to dust and blow away in the wind.
The walking wall longs for that day.
Oh, how it longs.