I’ve stayed put here a thousand years, yet I could never obtain a fox’s nine tails or an imugi dragon’s black wings.
After a thousand years my tongue has become a stone. As a result
talking about a pagoda is stiffer than building a pagoda.
Yet while the fresh fins of the fish that swims inside a stone
turning round a dark pagoda, its wet gills throb like toothache
passing hidden star-fields the wind pours out old teeth.
Just as it briefly lifts then drops a cloud
the air’s lotus pond, a pagoda valley,
Bamboo grew. That’s the wind’s tooth-marks.
A bird perched. That’s the wind’s tooth-marks.
Staying put a thousand years, never leaving, as the sun shines on the brow of the stone foundations of the Hall of the Dead and they shimmer as if under water
and evening grows dark at the round sound of the wooden gong
longing to grow dark at a single summons
but no trace of the monk’s voice remained, prayers being the only food sprinkled into the stone’s fishpond,
so inside the toothache a fish out of water twitches.
The air once struck, a lotus pond is dug—pagoda valley
and I am caught between the wind’s millionth set of molars. I am bent, a thousand-years’ tail, broken down, a thousand years’ wings.