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Yoko Danno – I

Catfish in the Woods





My dog suddenly runs off

slipping the leash

startled by a wild beast.


Without blowing

a conch, the giant

fish-god tosses and turns


in the deep ocean bed

heaving his bloated belly

in his millenary sleep –


the mischievous catfish*

plays dirty tricks

belching out muddy billows


over homes, rice paddies

boats, cars, nuclear plants

guzzling them all alive.


Under a tree radioactive

rays filtering through

branches fall on my face.




* In Japanese folklore a giant catfish living underground causes earthquakes.