An old man puts up a ladder on the face of the mountain of bedrock and cuts trees. To be precise, he is cutting ferns. Spring water is bleeding out through the gaps in the rocks. He throws away the leaves and vines entwining persistently to the roots of the trees. From 3:00pm until sunset. The mountain is small and flat, once a quarry. The rocks from which the leaves and vines of ferns were stripped became bare. He had been working for several months before the beginning of summer. The old man does not know about the mountain, or about spring water; about the spring water which becomes a creek and the life source of the town; about water which eventually becomes a big river that reaches the downstream port. To the old man the ferns spreading their hands and enjoying their great free lives are troublesome like beasts bathing in the sun and water in the jungle.

There is a hut near the top of the mountain. It shows signs of human habitation. A flag on a wooden pole standing in mud is waving and saying <This is my house>. Wild strawberries are polka dots garnishing the green well. Five years ago, children who went out to explore the ghosts of a mountain cave found a dead body. It was already bare bone. The corpse, alone and untouched for between six months and a year, was male. The man had neither name nor residency record, so he was cremated by the officials of the town. People rumoured that he was the man who lived in the hut. But still the water in the bucket from the well continued to increase and decrease.

When I went upstream through the bushes and encountered the hut for the first time, I felt a kind of fear. The sound I heard was just the murmuring of the leaves swaying in the wind, a quiet breath of anger and sadness. Sunlight was melting into water and shining. I could not find the source of the spring. But the ferns, regrown, were extending their vines over the entire mountain. Here and there, spring water came out. The mountain itself might be water.




hiromi suzuki is a poet, artist living in Tokyo, Japan.  A member of “gui” (run by members of “VOU” group of poets, founded by the late Katsue Kitasono). She is author of Ms. cried (kisaragi, 2013). Her works are published internationally in Otoliths, BlazeVOX, Empty Mirror, Experiment-O, M58, DATABLEED, Black Market Re-View, Burning House Press, h&, BRAVE NEW WORD magazine, DODGING THE RAIN, Jazz Cigarette, TAPE HISS zine, The Arsonist Magazine, MOONCHILD MAGAZINE, Parentheses Journal, Angry Old Man Magazine, Coldfront Magazine, 3:AM Magazine, Obra/Artifact, magazine, Visual Verse, 2015 / 2017, and Poem Brut at Rich Mix London 2017, amongst other places. Latest book of visual poetry, logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018). web site: Twitter: @HRMsuzuki