“Against its will, energy is doing something productive, like the devil in medieval history. The principle is that nature does something against its own will and, by self-entanglement, produces beauty.” Otto Rössler

gave birth to rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, grass
and last, a blazing child
         so burned she died.
         In the land of darkness
         a mass of pollution.
         Ah wash her clear stream
        —skinny  little  girl   with   big ears
         we have passed through
                   passed through,     flesh out of flesh.
“Shining Heavens,” Goddess of the Sun,
        her brother flung
                  mud and shit and a half-skinned pony through
                  the palace,
so she entered a cave—shut it up with a rock—
        made the world dark.
Ame-no-uzume, “Outrageous Heavenly Woman,” wrapped
the numinous club-moss of Mr. Kagu round her hips, made
a headband from the leaves of nishikigi, bound bamboo
grass for her wristlets, and put a sounding-board down
before the cave where the Sun Goddess stayed.
    She danced and she stamped til it echoed around, she
danced like a goddess possessed, pulled out her nipples,
pushed her sash down til she showed herself down below,
and the Plain of High Heaven shook with the laughs and
the cheers and the whistles of thousands of gods who were
gathered to watch.
                                                                           Jean Herbert
        The whole river. Clear back to each creeklet
                 all one basin drawing in the threads
        pacing down dry riverbeds the dance,
              mai, stomping, stepping on the gravelly bar
        step, stop, stamp of the foot. Glide and turn,
                 headwaters, mountains,
                          breathing icy bliss
        diamond-glittered bitty snowcreek
        eating the inorganic granite down.
        Trees once cooled the air, and clouds, ah, ghost of
                  springs gone dry. Hills of Yugoslavia clearcut
                            for the Roman fleet
                 —don’t think all that topsoil’s gone
                          it only waits.
       —slept on river sidebars
                 drank from muddy streams
                 grains cooked in rock-flour glacier water,
                —dirt left on boulders
                 for a sandy heap of years,
        and creeks meander                    just because they swing.
        Stamp of the masked dancer
                 pacing tangled channels
                          putting salt and gold dust in the sea.
        Ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto bound up her sleeves with
        a cord of heavenly hi-kage vine, tied around her head a
        head-band of the heavenly ma—saki vine, bound to—
        gether bundles of sasa leaves to hold in her hands, and
        overturning a bucket before the heavenly rock-cave
        door, stamped resoundingly upon it. Then she became
        divinely possessed, exposed her breasts, and pushed
        her skirt-band down to her genitals.
                                                                      Allan Grapard
        Laughter roared like thunder
                 through the plains of heaven
        and the hidden
                 Goddess of the Sun,
                 peeked out round the rock.
                 All the little faces of the gods gleamed
                          white                                        in the light!
                                      Herbert                    Grapard
Around her head:           nishikigi leaves        masaki vines
In her hands:                                                   sasa
As wristlets:                   bamboo grass
sleeves tied w/:                                                hi-kage vine
around her hips:             club moss
        Ame no uzume.
        What did she wear?
                 What leaves in her hair?
        How far did she push her skirt down?
Other works by Gary Snyder ...