INTRODUCTION TO "SPRING AND ASHURA"

The phenomenon called I
Is a single green illumination
Of a presupposed organic alternating current lamp
(a composite body of each and every transparent spectre)
The single illumination
Of karma's alternating current lamp
Remains alight without fail
Flickering unceasingly, restlessly
Together with the sights of the land and all else
(the light is preserved...the lamp itself is lost)

These poems are a mental sketch as formed
Passage by passage of light and shade
Maintained and preserved to this point
Brought together in paper and mineral ink
From the directions sensed as past
For these twenty-two months
(the totality flickers in time with me
all sensing all that I sense coincidentally)

As a result people and galaxies and Ashura and sea urchins
Will think up new ontological proofs as they see them
Consuming their cosmic dust...and breathing in salt water and air
In the end all of these make up a landscape of the heart
I assure you, however, that the scenes recorded here
Are scenes recorded solely in their natural state
And if it is nihil then it is nothing but nihil
And that the totality is common in degree to all of us
(just as everything forms what is the sum in me
so do all parts become the sum of everything)

These words were meant to be transcribed faithfully
Within a monstrous accumulation in the brightness of time
In the confines of the present geological era
Yet they have gone ahead and altered their construct and quality
In what amounts to a spark of sharply contrasted light
(or alternatively a billion years of Ashura)
Now it is possible that both the printer and I
Have been sharing a certain turn of mind
Causing us to sense these as unaltered
In all probability just as we are aware of our own sense organs
And of scenery and of people's individuality through feeling
And just as what is is but what we sense in common
So it is that documents and history...or the earth's past
As well as these various data
Are nothing but what we have become conscious of
(at the root of the karmic covenant of space-time)
For all I know in two thousand years from now
A much different geology will be diverted
With fitting proofs revealed one after another from the past
And everyone will surmise that some two thousand years before
The blue sky was awash with colourless peacocks
And rising scholars will excavate superb fossils
From regions glittering of iced nitrogen
In the very upper reaches of the atmosphere
Or they might just stumble
Upon the giant footsteps of translucent man
In a stratification plane of Cretaceous sandstone

The propositions that you have before you are without exception
Asserted within the confines of a four dimension continuum
As the nature of the mental state and time in themselves

Kenji Miyazawa, 20 January 1924


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