Sennin Poem

Sennin Poem

The red and green kingfishers flash
between the orchids and clover,
One bird casts its gleam on another.
Green vines hang through the high forest,
They weave a whole roof to the mountain,
The lone man sits with shut speech,
He purrs and pats the clear strings.
He throws his heart up through the sky,
He bites through the flower pistil and brings up a fine fountain.
The red-pine-tree god looks on him and wonders.
He rides through the purple smoke to visit the sennin[1],
He takes “Floating Hill”[2] by the sleeve,
He claps his hand on the back of the great water sennin,
But you, you dam'd crowd of gnats,
Can you even tell the age of a turtle?


[1] Sennin — an air spirit.

[2] Name of a Sennin.