In Seiko's poem the huge newt ' something smudged
across the borders of its life-span, or its species,
found by an old woman in an irrigation channel ' hadn't budged
from where it hibernated underneath its flat stone
in a forest river, clean enough for even it and wasabe
to come to being.
one day it poked its sleepy nose
into the current, stirred its tail, and that alone
sufficed to separate it from the peace that there-to-fore
had held it thrall. And then, you have to have seen Seiko when she grows
ears as an elephant, or antlers as a reindeer, or, in this case,
hands come sprouting from her shoulders, squirming in imagined water,
to appreciate its struggles, and its whimpering 'Modorenai !' '
'I can't get back !', as it was carried off to places
stories tell us all the great adventures reach.
But Seiko is a dancer, and this is Seiko's poem, and I ...
I'm only trying to write it down : The creature's smothered cries
and hopeless floundering, are what the dancers and the poets teach
us about time by swimming in it, out before our eyes.