During my college life in USA, I wrote short poems. There are only 24 poems as I wrote basically only one or two poems per season.
Why did I that?
One key reason why I wrote them was to keep in written forms my thoughts, struggles, feelings I had during my college days in a foreign country.
I did not learn how to write poems. Therefore, they are not well-written for sure, but they are good enough for me to recall myself during the very exceptional and precious time of my life.
Do you have anything personally valuable with you? Probably, yes.
In my case I think these poem are the only valuable ones I have. They are worthless in reality, but they are priceless in my heart. I am so proud of the fact that I did write the poems in my college days.
Now I am old enough and have just decided to post those poems so that they can be read and shared with those who are interested in, hopefully, for year to come.
Thank you in advance for your time to read my poems.
（WWSU Red Square)
Jan. 3, 1969
A jet flying out of a night-sky in Tokyo.
Underneath the pitch-dark sky, Neon signs, emitting various colors of lights.
Darkness of the sky, reflecting days of my past,
Small colorful lights, anticipating days of my future.
The neon lights, overwhelmingly impressive,
Coming across my mind was not the past but only the future.
Jan. to May, 1969
Portland, the giant city,
Covered with snow as pure as my heart,
The weather here never made me feel cold
As the Copper were kind and warm enough.
Grant, the enormous high school,
As traditional as my high school, Tatebayashi.
The teachers & friends there never made me feel ignored
As they loved to help me with my English.
Neighborhood, surrounded by trees and grasses
As green as those in my yard,
Were so nice and friendly to me
As they loved to joke with me.
However, in my eyes, few similarities here
And a huge difference as far as living.
In my heart, I am running away
From this new city life back to the old country life.
Back to the Country Life
May to Sept., 1969
Lived close to the nature which brought me up to be naïve and pure:
A mother deer and her baby searching for morning food,
Being disturbed she is running away with full strength.
A group of cows chewing grasses without worries start stampeding
Raising stormy clouds of dust behind.
Enjoyed watching living creatures in a great nature land:
A poisonous snake twining around sage brushes,
Starts rattling with the sharp teeth pointed to me.
A rainbow trout dancing in a clear stream,
Starts escaping without knowing where to go and hide.
Loved to catch them as I used to do in my childhood:
The bonny deer, timid cows, harmless snakes, and rainbow trout:
All are struggling for food and castles.
Blood & flesh, friendship & sociality; which my mind is struggling with.
My heart is tearing up between the nature and the human society.
Learn to Love
Sept. to Dec., 1969
Born not knowing to love, yet knowing to be loved;
The kind of love I thought in my past life.
But the stay at the Curry changed my thought on love.
Smiling faces by illuminations, sweet voices in conversations,
Delicious Thanksgiving dinner, fantastic Christmas day,
And wonderful New Year’s party.
Each one of the memories being as clear as crystal
Was helping me to learn how nice to love others.
One day I found myself to love people, which I never did in the past.
The North Star
Jan. to Mar., 1970
Happiness, joy, and love left my heart.
A heart without them was like an empty shell,
That was washed up to a deserted beach.
Immeasurable craving for love: to love and to be loved;
Deep struggle with living at an American home
Torn up my fragile heart and made me wander one night.
A light from the distant shining star was only an obstacle to my eyes.
Yet, the North Star was showing me a direction:
The direction to an exciting Journey of my life.
A Lost Goose
Mar. to June, 1970
Spring, spring, spring: here comes the joy of the year.
Grasses, green, and trees, taller.
Everything is growing and prospering
As if everything around me seemed to be a crystal-clear blue sky.
Persian tea, so sweet with five spoonful of sugar.
Korean pickles, too hot with many red peppers.
Sex, sports, study: A little bit of all, I tasted.
My heart was filled with a variety of desires.
Alas, my friend, nothing lasts forever.
The joyful world didn’t stay with me no more than two months.
With my heart torn up into pieces, i flew like a goose
Losing his flock and searching for a fragment of the trace.
High up in the Sky
Jun. to Sept., 1970
Full of lethargy and full of ennui:
Bored of the camp life I went out to a town
To find friends and to share happiness with them.
Happiness of swimming under a clear, boundless sky.
A fresh breeze flowing above a brand –new pool.
My skin vibrates as if dancing with joy.
My heart, full of happiness flies in the wind
High up in the clear, boundless sky
Never knowing where to go and when to stop.
A Falling Star
Sept. to Dec., 1970
Change of life with change of a college.
Happiness, joy, and love: all, I grasped with my hands.
Happiness to be a friend of all. Joy to dance with them,
And love from and to all my friends.
Wearing a belt named “satisfaction” my body off the ground,
And my heart soaring high over a crystal clear sky
With a large balloon filled with happiness, joy, and love.
Yet, it flew away being a falling star when the night came.
Veiling my Heart
Jan. to Mar., 1971
A lonesome world veiling my heart.
Falling upon my mind was homesickness from my two-year stay.
The wall of nostalgia is thicker to penetrate than that of Berlin.
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow: no arms, nowhere, to break it through.
Being hopeless, a roll of grass in my mouth.
Getting on high I walked in my dream and saw an angel
With a smile on her face and her hands stretching out to me.
Without a moment veiling my heart was a world of love.
Apr. to June, 1971
Lost in the world of love,
Millions of expectation in my right hand
With a handful of anxiety in my left hand.
The North Star in the dark sky,
Throwing a light upon the bench.
“I love you”, said I, but air of silence everywhere.
Few words from her mouth threw darkness upon my eyes.
Yet, my eyes shining by the light,
And a star of joy falling onto my heart.
Memory of Trout Creak
June to Sept., 1971
In the spacious field of grasses a railroad passes through silently.
The camp called Trout Creak breathes out a smoke of its melancholy life.
A sound of squeak by the stormy wind makes me
Hear a Man’s cry from the old, paint-peeled bunk house.
The water tank soars high, faintly showing a sign of prosperity,
Yet, it’s a story of the past, now.
Young and old live here with a full of joy and laughter.
Yet, you will be moved to tears
If you hear about the life there bound to nature.
When you hear from the enervated old men without any hope.
But, you will be moved to vigor,
When you talk to overseas students with bright future.
Not to Say “Sorry”
Sept. 8, 1971
One beautiful, shiny day
A world of love, happiness, and joy everywhere on campus.
But my heart full of frustration
And my step toward the hall, heavy and slow unlike usual.
Passing through Red Square
A girl came into a view was no one but you.
Your eyes shone by the sun
Looked like radiating a world of happiness and joy.
Without a moment
A flare of frustration boiling my heart to be heartless.
The words from my heart
Further disastrous to you than the atomic bomb to Hiroshima.
Very moment, my heart, full of hate and regret
Closed a way to the world of love, happiness, and joy.
Not to say a word, “sorry”
My steps heavier and slower toward a world of struggle.
Sept. 12, 1971
A Sea to be A Sky, and A Sky to be A Sea.
Being a two-dimensional plain of blueness near the Hawaiian Islands
The sea is lying below and the sky is lying above the horizon
Though it is too hard to see its existence.
Sea melted up into the blueness of sky.
Sky disappeared down into the blueness of sea.
No horizontal line across them to divide a world of oneness.
But only the left wing clearly divides the universe of a Sea-Sky.
Transience of Joys
Sept. 25, 1971
A jet flying through the wall of darkness.
The joyful days in Maui and Oahu are just a moment ago.
Being like a shapeless mass of memories
Submerging unconsciously into a dark and boundless wall.
A few lights from the dark wall are far, yet close.
Coming across my mind is a quest:
”Are they the glory of the Joys? Why so transient?”
In a moment my heart and eyes wet with that thought.
Oct. 5, 1971
When I thought I would take you out I felt happy and joyful.
When I thought I would have to go I felt sad and sorrowful.
As your heart was close to me I felt cheerful and hopeful.
But, you say, tonight, you are tired and it is time to go back home.
When I think I will take you out I still feel happy and joyful.
When I think I will have to go I still feel sad and sorrowful.
As you will live across the Ocean I feel depressed and hopeless.
Tonight, my eyes are swelled up with deep pains and sadness.
Oct. 18, 1971
When you wonder about life you will see an infinite world
Where all knowledge, happiness, and love are buried.
Yet, without patience and effort you will excavate nothing but dust.
If you wander the world to seek for knowledge
Only to increase your wisdom,
You will never understand the truth nor the real life.
If you wander the world to seek for happiness
Only to divert your mind from melancholy,
You will never understand the true happiness nor the real life.
If you wander the world to seek for love
Only to satisfy your desire,
You will never understand the true love nor the real life.
Shall we seek for a type of life such that
“Eat, drink, and be merry” as Epicurus or “Know thyself” as Socrates?
Whichever we may choose, we shall still wonder about life.
Sept. to Dec., 1971
Wandering about in the midst of a desert,
North was in the direction of South, South was seen in the direction of North.
His craving for pleasure was more than for water.
His thirst for passion was more than for water
Stepping toward North be thought of the past;
Those days full of joy and love.
Stepping back toward South be thought of the present;
These days everything around looked foggy and rainy.
His heart gloomy and as fragmentary as a grain of sand,
His mind cloudy and as pitch-dark as it could be.
Looking up at a night sky of the desert, a few lights came into his eyes
And made him walk toward the distant shiny star.
The Wall of my World
Jan. to Mar., 1972
Down in California and Nevada
Some seemed as if striving after their dreams doomed only to be dreams.
Others seemed as if struggling for pleasure knowing it be only momentary.
Still some loafing about with hope against hope.
Also others going after money for the money’s sake.
“How empty your worlds were! “, Had I a thought.
Back in Western, my college
I found myself to be lonesome and vain without knowing why.
My face in a mirror was nothing but a reflection of truce.
True that my right eye was on the left half,
And my left eye was on the right half of my face in the mirror of my mind
Neither your worlds nor the real world had a place in my mind.
In my world, like a frog in a well, never did I try to know other worlds.
The wall of my world was much more solid than the Great Wall.
Even you try to break it through no matter how hard,
It will be just the same as scratching a diamond with a glass.
Being in a closed world, Had I a brief thought over the mortality of all.
Thought on my Friend’s Birthday
April 12, 1972
Man’s birthday is not just a day for blessing.
Who else besides himself can feel his true happiness by a mere glance?
In his heart only be felt, his true happiness.
In his eyes only be expressed, his true happiness.
Be a poor Poe rather than to be a partial Epicurean.
Man’s birthday is not just a day for confirming an annual ring.
Who else besides himself can see his real growth by a mere glance?
In his mirror of mind only be reflected, his real growth.
In his words be expressed, his real growth.
Be a skinny Socrates rather than to be a fat pig.
I love the Sky
July 18, 1972
On a fine mid-summer day lying on my back under a white birch tree
I looked up at the Sky with sweet memories.
She looked down at me with an expressionless face
Through rustling leaves and bending twigs.
But I remembered the days she was smiling with cotton-like dimples;
The days she was weeping with a gray and gloomy look,
The days she was joyful with bright and cheerful eyes,
And the days she was resentful with a breath of stormy air.
She was after all as changeable as weather.
No matter how much she hates me,
My love to the Sky can’t be expressed in words
As it’s thousand and thousand times more than she thinks.
Aug. 10, 1972
Beneath a wall of hazy blue
A faded brick-built brown house stands silently.
The breath out of the house lingers spiritlessly about the green grass.
The young and the old there hold the common destination:
The young – too early to perish, the old – too late to change.
We are all drifting and nearing toward the wall of blue.
Feared and unprepared for the world of unknown above the wall.
Whether young or old, we should remember
There is a paradise of serenity beyond the wall of blue
For our sole to live eternally and to rest peacefully.
Aug. 17, 1972
Between bushy hills and rocky mountains
Through green meadows and over clear waters
Silently the track is running, neither to broaden nor to narrow
Neither to go higher nor to go lower, always in parallel and evenly.
Were it broader or narrower like one’s mind
Had it have ups and downs like one’s emotion
The train would derail over the top of bushes and rocks,
Into the darkness of grasses and brooks.
Silently, the track is running
Through an active town into a passive woods,
On and on, miles after miles, a mile after a mile,
Always running in parallel and evenly.
Something in my Mind
Jan. 14, 1973
It’s about time to catch up with the lost 4 years.
After enjoying myself like children playing outside for a full day
Something in my dream wakes me up and tells a story.
It’s a story about the people halfway around the world.
It is exciting to hear how they were doing in old days.
And it is more exciting to hear how they are doing now.
Against my strong desire and expectation to meet with the people
They walk away from me as if they see a stranger.
The dream goes on until the first sun light beams over the East Land.
When You Think of Home
Jan. 28, 1973
When you think of home, don’t expect everything is perfect for you.
Imagine their happy smiles and their joyful faces,
And touch your heart beating with excitement and happiness.
When you think of home, look at your family pictures.
Remember their sweet smiles and their darling faces,
And see your tearful pupils filled with excitement and love.
When you still think of home, cry loud to your heart’s content
Just feel how happy you can be in a few months.
And walk to the window to hear their singing from miles away.
This is the end of my 24 short poems.
Thank you so much for your time to reading my old poems.