Rakushisha Exchange

Posted in Autumn, Event report, Haiku with tags , on October 13, 2014 by Tito

Sep. 27. Fine autumn weather. Rakushisha (The House of Fallen Persimmons), Saga, Kyoto. 10 poets assemble. Tito has already taken guests from America, Charlie Trumbull, Cynthia Henderson and Lidia Rozmus to Saigyo’s Well and Kyorai’s Grave. The meeting itself begins with readings of Kyorai’s Record of the House of Fallen Persimmons and Days 3 & 17 of Basho’s Saga Diary, which the poet had written in 1691 while staying at this cottage. Hisashi reads the Japanese originals and Tito, the new English translations they have prepared. During the tea break, Lidia decorates the back room with display panels of American Haiga (many of them, her own beautiful work). Charlie then presents to the group on the subject of Japanese Influence on English-language Haiku. Fascinating stuff. After an exchange of ideas, Lidia follows with her own Approach to Haiga, and we enjoy looking at the mini-exhibition of examples she has brought along. There follows a stroll in the autumnal garden (purple berries, orange persimmon leaves) and on through the nearby bamboo groves to the Oi River, where a local friend of Tito offers the poets a covered wooden punt with a robed man at the prow. In jovial spirits, we are poled upstream a little way, then slide back down the river in the warm dusk … Our thanks again to our guests for having visited and given us so much on this happy day.

haiku gathering the scent of fresh-turned earth

(Charlie Trumbull)

………….. The twilight hour –
………….. the boatman’s long white sleeves
………….. billow out

………….. (Tito)

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from the Icebox inbox – 33

Posted in Haiku, Submissions on October 4, 2014 by Gerald

green leaves
cradling in its bosom –
bird’s nest

Payal Aggarwal
———–

slow-drifting clouds
out of the lebanon cedar
a discussion of crows

Alan Summers
———-

long tailed tits
gathering in the hawthorn
first flurries of snow

John Hawkhead
———-

the pause
he takes on his flute –
spring rain

narrow road
the clash of umbrellas
as we near the Buddha

Kala Ramesh
———-

the setting sun’s rays
on a carousel horse –
unicorn ride

Judit
———-

Here by the pool
where no one swims
voices of cicadas
rise

Jane Wieman
———-

summer ends
counting cicada calls
on one hand

Michael Henry Lee
———-

Mount Tsubakuro Autumn Haike

Posted in Autumn, Event report with tags , on September 29, 2014 by Tito

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Hailstone Haiku Circle’s annual Autumn Haike (haiku-writing hike) was this year held in northern Nagano Prefecture, 13-16 September. Eleven people took part. Mt. Tsubakuro (2,763m) is a long but very rewarding climb. The adventure, however, was not without challenge, even a little pain. Let’s allow the haiku we wrote to tell the story of it.

……… stuck in holiday traffic:
……… our gaze alone
……… visits the distant hills
……………
(Richard)

Over yellow fields
And marigold flowers
Mountains on jagged mountains
…… (Lisa)

……… In rice-fields of Azumino
……… He loses the way, apologizes —
……… No one minds
……………
(Tito)

Hemlocks in mist —
the tapping of the trekking poles
up the steep footpath
(Branko)

……… fresh spring water
……… icy in our flasks:
……… I sprint up the slope
……………
(Richard)

to a slow climber
red signals of the foggy trail –
crimson rowan-berries
(Hisashi)

……… Let me make a painting …
……… Of autumn leaves
……… Reaching through
……… The top of a cloud
……………
(Tito)

山頂はもうすぐだよと薄雪草
Hearing
“Just a short way to the summit!”
Seeing
Flowers of edelweiss
(Miki)

……… 目をみはる真白き空にブロッケン
……… Staring through
……… the white sky to …
……… a brocken-spectre me!
……………
(Sachiko)

わが影が光輪を背負い雲海に
my image carrying
a halo on my back …
over the sea of clouds
(Sei’ichi)

……… 夕焼けを背に黒々と槍穂高
……… sunset behind
……… the jet-black, crenellated skyline
……… of the Yari-Hotaka range
……………
(Sei’ichi)

hurrying to dinner
along the ridge trail:
a star falls
(Hisashi)

……… 山小屋に流るる星の糸あまた
……… Again and again
……… The threads of shooting stars –
……… Over the mountain lodge
…………… (Miki)

A waft of sweetness —
A man in a forest
Deodorizes himself
(Tito)

……… 岩水の小さきささやき苔の花
……… Quiet whisper
……… Of mountain water …
……… Flowers of moss
…………… (Miki)

from the open-air bath
watching the ridge we descended:
pale morning moon
(Hisashi)

……… Gently rowing
……… above pebbles and river grass –
……… Kurosawa’s dream
…………… (Branko)

A clear autumn day
at Zenkoji Temple…
I stroke an arhat’s knee
(Senji)

For a haibun by Hisashi, Eight-faced Great King, about this mountain but written a few years before, please go to the “Longer Haibun” page (via link at top right).

Toshitaka Ida – September 6, 2014

Posted in Haibun, Haiga, Haiku, News on September 23, 2014 by Gerald

Hailstone member and Icebox contributor has passed away…

Haiga, Haiku, and Haibun by Toshi

HSWIII Ida

One daffodil
Arranged for the expected guest-
Our morning hall.

Spring meadows-
A boy following his father
With tiny steps.

Polyp, benign-
Light steps on the way home
Through clover fields.

Who planted them?
Morning glories at their best
In the evacuation grounds.

The temple class
Copies a sutra with brush and ink-
Distant cascade.

The sunflower row-
Have they all been disciplined
Not to look aside?

The place he says
He learned the War had ended-
Tomato patch.

My Second Home
My mother came from a village in a remote area of Gifu prefecture, where as a young boy, I spent a month of my summer vacation every year.

My cousin was a year younger than I, but he had been head of the gang of playmates in the village. Needless to say I got mixed up in it, too.

In short, the village became my second home. The arrowroot, which crawled over every corner of the village, was wild enough to lead me into the world of Kipling’s Jungle Book, and, in more recent years, makes me feel this village to be all the dearer.

This summer, after forty years of absence, I stayed with the cousin for a brief holiday there. In spite of the rapid wave of development that had taken much of the surrounding region, the village itself was just as it had been forty years before, wild arrowroot still covering much of it. During my stay I had nothing to do – no merry playmates and no adventures – but the days were blissful nonetheless.

Three days have passed
At my dear old home-
Wild arrowroot blooms.

Three days are neither too long nor too short for one to enjoy the memories of one’s early childhood.

Toshi fan on bench

Beside the summer stream

Posted in Event report, Summer with tags on September 12, 2014 by Tito

….. Fishes splash
….. on a plastic tray—
….. water slaps my face

…………… (Mayumi Kawaharada)

The summer has been wet, Kiyotaki b'fly 31.8.14 by Chizurubut the sun shone on our joint picnic with PTO volunteers on 31 August at Kiyotaki. Saito-san even caught some small river fish to grill. A butterfly no one had ever seen before dropped by for a drink from the wet sand.

.
….. Threading
….. stone after stone
….. s t r e a m w a t e r
….. following itself down

…………… (Tito)

….. A dragonfly
….. out of barbecue smoke—
….. the river flows on

…………… (Eiko Mori)

Matsumoto Jin at Kiyotaki
(sketch by Jin Matsumoto)

Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015

Posted in Challenge!, Haibun, News with tags , , on September 6, 2014 by Tito

This is Japan’s only international haibun contest. Entry is free and there are prizes and certificates. With the retirement of Nobuyuki Yuasa after serving for six years as judge of (first) the Kikakuza and (subsequently) the Genjuan Contests, this year we have one new judge, Nenten Tsubouchi, who is welcomed as one of Japan’s most respected haiku poets with an unusual interest in haibun. He is a modernist with a very strong classical foundation. You can see a photo and learn a little more about him here http://www.gendaihaiku.com/tsubouchi/index.html

Ideally, there will be one Grand Prix, a number of An Prizes (‘Cottage’ Prizes, highly commended), and some Honourable Mentions, too. The authors of entries chosen for the first two of these categories will receive prizes, and all decorated works will warrant a certificate from the organizers. In the spring, the results will be displayed here on the Hailstone Icebox and elsewhere. You can read last year’s winning pieces on a separate page (‘Genjuan Winning Haibun’).

Entries to : Ms. Eiko Mori, 2-11-23-206 Jokoji, Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken 660-0811, Japan (to arrive between 1 Oct. 2014 and 31 Jan. 2015)

We have lowered the minimum length stipulation to make it easier for writers using English as their second language. Each entry should total 10 to 40 lines (at 1 line = 80 spaces), with title and at least one haiku (no formal restrictions). Print on one side of A4, if possible, with your name and address, tel. no., and email address typed along the bottom. The judges will not get to know your identity until judging is over and the Genjuan Contest office already knows the results.

Judges: Nenten Tsubouchi, Stephen Henry Gill, Hisashi Miyazaki.

Full details via the page link (top right) ‘幻住庵 Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015 Guidelines’.  Please do take part!

Atago Old Road Night-time Ginko

Posted in Event report, Haiku, Summer with tags , on August 29, 2014 by Tito

Four Hailstone poets, most notably Andres Matos (Amato’), visiting Kyoto for the first time in many years, set off on a rainy evening (24.8) towards Seiryoji Temple. There, we sheltered for a while under a great wooden gate waiting for the Jizo-bon lanterns to be lit along the narrow road that winds up through Saga towards Toriimoto and the foot of Mt. Atago. This old pilgrim route, would be decked out with paper illuminations for the weekend celebrating the festival of Jizo (Ksitigarbha), protector of children and travellers. Andres was passing through on his way from Venezuela to begin a new life with his family in Thailand. We walked and talked and wrote through everything from almost imperceptible drizzle to drenching downpours. A Hong Kong meal in Uzumasa’s Daiei Street rounded off the composition stroll.
.

Eight years gone by
without a haiku –
Where was I?

…………… (Amato’)

 

…………… Lamp-lit summer rain –
…………… Shadow of a pine-tree cast
…………… Across the temple wall

………………………… (Mayumi)

 

At odd intervals
lantern candles fizzling …
vanquished by the rain

……………  (Tito)

 

…………… Pouring rain –
…………… Just a few flickering lanterns lit
…………… for our flickering spirits

………………………… (Amato’)

 

After the rain
on Atago Furumichi,
candle scent

…………… (Haruka) 

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