This poem is taken from Stand 215, 15(3) October - November 2017.

Adam Elgar Three Poems
Mount Fuji viewed from the Temple of 500 Rakan
(After Hokusai) For Valerio Magrelli

It looks like leisure, like a break for air
from rites or revels going on off-camera.
Everyone’s rushing to the lakeside rail,  
so maybe that’s the whole point after all…

Maybe the holy mountain really is  
a heaven-sent surprise. After a skirmish  
with the spirits who can say that worship  
doesn’t peel familiarity from everything?

Insistent voices (look!) and pointing fingers
(there!) a Wachet auf! – a step-right-up! –  
a Catch It (Now!) before it lurches  
into the blankness of gone.

Can the Five Hundred see this
from Nirvana’s emptiness?
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