Upon the Heights

- 1875-1947
And victor of life and silence,
I stood upon the Heights; triumphant,
With upturned eyes, I stood,
And smiled unto the sun, and sang
A beautifully sad farewell unto the dying day.
And my thoughts and the eve gathered
Their serpentine mysteries around me,
My thoughts like alien breezes,
The eve like a fragrant legend.
My feeling was that I stood as one
Serenely poised for flight, as a muse
Of golden melody and lofty grace.
Yea, I stood as one scorning the swords
And wanton menace of the cities.
The sun had heavily sunk into the seas beyond,
And left me a tempting sweet and twilight.
The eve with trailing shadows westward
Swept on, and the lengthened shadows of trees
Disappeared: how silently the songs of silence
Steal into my soul! And still I stood
Among the crickets, in the beauteous profundity
Sung by stars; and I saw me
Softly melted into the eve. The moon
Slowly rose: my shadow on the ground
Dreamily began a dreamy roam,
And I upward smiled silent welcome.
 

More by Yone Noguchi

At Night

At night the Universe grows lean, sober-
faced, of intoxication,
The shadow of the half-sphere curtains
down closely against my world, like a 
doorless cage, and the stillness chained by
wrinkled darkness strains throughout the Uni-
verse to be free. 
Listen, frogs in the pond, (the world is a pond itself)
     cry out for the light, for the truth!
The curtains rattle ghostlily along, bloodily biting
     my soul, the winds knocking on my cabin door
     with their shadowy hands.

To an Unknown Poet

When I am lost in the deep body of the
mist on the hill, 
The world seems built with me as its
pillar!
Am I the god upon the face of the deep, deepless
deepness in the Beginning?

I Hear You Call, Pine Tree

       I hear you call, pine tree, I hear you upon the hill, by the silent                 pond
where the lotus flowers bloom, I hear you call, pine tree.
       What is it you call, pine tree, when the rain falls, when the                       winds
blow, and when the stars appear, what is it you call, pine tree?
       I hear you call, pine tree, but I am blind, and do not know                         how to
reach you, pine tree. Who will take me to you, pine tree?

Related Poems

The Night Migrations

This is the moment when you see again
the red berries of the mountain ash
and in the dark sky
the birds' night migrations.

It grieves me to think
the dead won't see them—
these things we depend on,
they disappear.

What will the soul do for solace then?
I tell myself maybe it won't need
these pleasures anymore; 
maybe just not being is simply enough,
hard as that is to imagine.