A poem of Tajihi, 1968
‘Cranes call, flying to the reedy shore;
how desolate I remain
as I sleep alone!’¹
Here lies a boy with empty arms,
his soft hair lying on the pillow.
When the sun bears the golden fruit
and lifts his head to melt the frost
and summon up the cock
he will awake and hear the sound
of reeds rustling in the morning breeze.
Then he will remember the evening passed,
he’ll see again the amber sun
reclining in a bed of rosy clouds.
That call again will echo in his ears,
the cranes will settle in their nests
and he will wander back
to his small bed – alone;
and on the way he’ll pick a fading rose
and sniff its mellow perfume,
he will lay it on the table by the book he read
last night. Then he will look
across the valley to the little town
where all the people live.
But now, he lies asleep
with no one in his world,
to make his fresh young heart
beat faster in its ruddy nest.
Those eyes of his will fade
before their dewy brightness
can be seen.
Cranes: call no more tonight!
Quoted from An old threnody by Tajihi Yanushi, an envoy, composed in grief at the death of his wife.