10 October, Dakesawa
Citrus-colored mountainside with clouds obscuring peaks Steep climbing among older mountaineers. Sky clearing, peaks appearing Hut, helicopter place, stone steps, small glacier Slipping on rocky descent Parallel double-plank paths through marsh Suspension bridge over Azusagawa, bird and dragon rowboats Dirt road through open woods, moody green understory of kumazasa

12 October, Yakedake
Climbing trail through forest, woodpecker and other birds in their routines Series of almost vertical ladders, some lashed together Hut; wood-burning stove, green tea, jazz on portable radio Atop Yakedake, above treeline above clouds Strong breeze carrying the volcano’s sulphur Sparks of red maple trees, close and far Blue-saturated twilight in the forest

13 October, Tokugotoge
Looking for bears at dawn, trees pale with frost Steam drifting off Taisho-ike pond, ice crystals on shore rocks Monkey with youngster clutched to her back Slow climb to Tokugotoge, shimmering aspen Tea at hut in sunshine with long view Quiet tramp down to valley Legs impatient for hot bath

19 October, Chikatsuyu
Walking up slippery moss-covered rock path, swaying conifers, clear sky Uwadawa-jaya teahouse remains, Taisho era. Gravesites for people without direct descendants. Glowing copper cedar trunks, trail soft with fallen sprigs Wide view of fuzzy green mountain range On ridge, a brown snake awakes Iron-rich earth and inside of broken cedar branch: same color Small and swift black snake, between a shadow and a thing23 October, Iwabushiwakare White sky, wet rain, mossy steps, sound of machinery Quite slippery rocky climb in torrential rain Midday. Enveloped in fog Flooded trail barely distinguishable from parallel stream Gusts of wind, numb hands and feet. Sun glimpse Heavy rain again, seems like walking submerged underwater An utter fog, ghosts at large

30 October, Yakushima
Ocean, morning time Mazy trail among large palms and bending insect sounds Handpainted sign showing all the microbial life under one footstep Mid-day. Strong waterfalls as minor incidents on tremendous cliff of rock Quasi-steps chisled out of boulder Onsen footbath in light rain Grasshopper crossing

5 November, Koyasan
In Okunoin cemetery, moss covered crocheted hats on stone statues Stream burbling on left, pinwheels of cedars above Trail near road, view open to sibling mountains Overcast. Signposts from the Kamakura era Easy curl around sharp mountainside, light rain Windy under the monumental flame-orange western gate to Koyasan Stone path lit by electric stone lanterns

Helen Mirra

  Helen Mirra, Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan