Cable Cars

We present this work in honor of the Japanese holiday, Mountain Day.

Shigeji Tsuboi
1897 – 1975


Deep at the bottom of a precipice
a swift stream intensely blue goes bubbling by,
in the unlimited sky beyond
a cable car moves along
burdened by a load that is heavy
and unseen by eyes.
Its thick cable
might be cut off at any unknown time.
Inside myself also
something continually keeps moving along.
it might be an express train.

The middle of the night . . .
though almost all noises have faded away,
in the ears’ intensely dark tunnel
there is something hurrying through.


Unconsciously shouting,
my own voice awakens me,
the one eye of an intensely red signal
keeps staring at me.

From morning
until late at night
time is regulated by stop-go signals.

Larger than an infant’s head,
a single egg
comes rolling down from somewhere
and crosses the street. . . .

Inside the intense darkness
now again
cable cars
are seen to be crossing.

For the sake of public construction work,
I thought, maybe, they were loaded
full of cement,
but with skeletons only
the cable cars were loaded,
one after another
endlessly moving away.

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