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Not half an hour later
the pencil I'm so fond of
and carry everywhere
but into bed with me,
fell and began to fl oat
away, Matilija,
bobbing and swivelling on
your currents -- playfully, though,
and slowly, slowly; so
enabling me at length,
having roused myself, to retrieve it.
Each of us varyingly
Has come here from the ocean,
And once here each waits
On a set of varied fates
Now and then not kindly. Still,
Despite my streamside vision,
I've left off sermonizing.
The frayed old pack I carry
Back down this long-loved trail
Contains no remedy.
My spirits have stayed high.
If asked for a reason why
I'd use this mystery
In indirect reply:
The blinded Samurai
Taira no Tomoume
In Yoshitoshi's print
Declines to stand apart,
Fights in the thick of it
Bearing, as talisman,