Wednesday 5 May 2021

2 Poems by Yumiko Tsumura

 when daffodils bloom

going through passage of
loss and grieving
I was
sunk to the ground

in sorrow
there was no days and nights

just then
you appeared in my path
handed me a bouquet
of Van Gogh’s yellow
saying “I want to be
your sun”

we sang our love song
for fourteen
Renaissance years
in radiant
sun color

museum of memory
“Death, be not proud”- John Donne

when we merged
our life together
a colorful unit
expanded to
infinite horizon
we cloistered ourselves
in a honey pot
of our time

walking though
our footprints
I bow to
your gift
for pottery
pit firing
in the field
of San Juan Valley

the stream of your mind
hands in clay
palpable, radiating
warming me
through each pot


Yumiko Tsumura was born and raised in Japan. She has a BA and MA from Kawansei Gakuin University in literature and has an MFA in poetry and translation from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She taught American Literature at Baika Women’s College in Osaka, and Japanese Language and Culture at Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, Foothill College and three other community colleges in the SF bay area. She has been a long time member of the American Literary Translators Association. Her books of translation includes Kazuko Shiraishi’sLet Those Who Appear (New Directions, 2002), My Floating Mother, City (New directions, 2009) and Sea, Land, Shadow (New directions, 2017).  Also, her books of translation with Samuel Grolmes include Tamura Ryuichi Poems 1946 -1998 (CCCbooks, 2000). Her own poetry has appeared in anthologies and journals, including Kyoto Journal, KantoPoetry, Eastlit, Manoa and Wisconsin Reviews. Her book of early poems The Green Scream was published by Quixote Press. Woman of March, a book of her selected poems was published by Fisnishing Line Press, 2017. Her most recent book is Man of Peace, published by Black Mountain Press in November 2020.

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