Summer memoirs

Posted in Haiku, Summer with tags on November 10, 2014 by Mayumi Kawaharada

This summer, just for a few days, I visited the coast at Onomichi (in Hiroshima Pref.). The old city center fronts the Inland Sea.
I also visited some tiny islands nearby.

Island after islandP1000891
In the deep blue ocean –
Ancient sea route

………………………. The evening beach –
………………………. Only birds drop by
………………………. The sand castle

After a heavy storm –
The puddle reflects
A seagull shadow

………………………. Sea fog covers
………………………. An empty beach house –
………………………. The end of summer

P1050227

Of Michio, Toshi and the Village of Mizuo

Posted in Autumn, Event report, News with tags , , on November 2, 2014 by Tito

Mountain valley –
chancing upon
the Shangri-La
of a spring in citron-trees

……. (Michio Sano)

The full moon
over the harvested rice fields –
villagers sleep

……. (Toshi Ida)

There were two Hailstone journeys undertaken recently which passed, under high blue skies, through the mountain village of Mizuo (水尾lit. ‘Water Ridge’) that nestles beneath a shoulder of Mt. Atago. As Michio’s 1998 haiqua (above) intimates, Mizuo is famous for its citrons and is often referred to as 柚子の里 Yuzu no SatoKC4F0040

The first journey, on October 19, was a most solemn occasion: a break on the way to visit the late Toshi Ida’s house in Chitose-cho (千歳町, 30 mins beyond) and offer prayers before his funeral altar. Toshi was a founding member of Hailstone Haiku Circle and close friend of so many of us. We soaked up the autumn sun in Mizuo, where chestnut tiger butterflies still flew around. Arriving eventually in Chitose-cho, the Hailstone delegation of the day – Keiko, Ursula and Tito – were graciously welcomed by Toshi’s wife, Michiko. Later we met their son, and were shown around Toshi’s study and the vegetable patch now immortalized in his collection, Plain Living, Happy Singing. Secrets were revealed, hugs were given and tears were shed.

October field –
mantes, too
their sickles pressed together
praying for a poet’s soul

……. (Keiko Yurugi)

It’s autumn –
yet the bells he used
for warning bears
now hung on the wall

…….  (Tito)

Homage:
a yellow rose,
his home-grown mikan, goya and
book of verse

……. (Ursula Maierl)

The second journey, held on October 26 in association with People Together for Mt. Ogura, was a happy hike along the Rice Growers’ Way (米買の道 Komekai no Michi) from Mizuo to Ochiai, and then up over Rokucho Pass 六丁峠, skirting Mt. Ogura, and finally dropping down into Adashino. The 9 participants began by visiting the 9th Century Emperor Seiwa’s Shrine in Mizuo.

Spilled rubies –
fallen pomegranate
from the neighbour’s tree

……. (Richard Donovan)

The trail climbed out of Mizuo through woods in early autumn colours. After cresting Koujin Pass at about 400m, we descended to a mossy spot by a stream.WIN_20141026_102432a- Sunbeams pierced tall cypress trees whose distant tops were slightly moving against the sky. There we ate our packed lunches.

Water striders
gliding on a stream …
illusion of drizzle

……. (Kyoko Nozaki)

Twinkling diamonds
stud a tiny mushroom –
morning dew

……. (Mayumi Kawaharada)

To what tune
does the spider spin
this disc that snares the light?

……. (Michael Lambe)

At Ochiai, we saw the poem monument for Basho’s Kiyotaki ya haiku about green pine needles. After watching boats shooting the rapids on the Hozu River, we climbed up past the now almost-cleared rubbish tips of Mt. Ogura. KC4F0036

In Adashino, participants were offered the chance by a local PTO supporter, Mrs. Matsuyama, to pick their own citrons from a thorny tree standing by the NPO’s rubbish collection tools storehouse just outside Nenbutsuji Temple.

That evening, belated news happened to come through from the wife of another founding member of Hailstone, Michio Sano (of Yao in Osaka). He had passed away, aged 86, on January 15 this year!

Full circle:
a citron now floating in the bath,
a new devouring grief

……. (Tito)

Michio, how much we learned from you! How deep and elegant was your haiku oeuvre. In Shangri-La eternal, please now rest in peace. 合掌

Jumping from
the harvest bonfire –
a sooty frog

……. (Michio Sano, from Seasons of the Gods, 2007) KC4F0058

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)

DCIM0003a-DCIM0011a-PICT0004a-KC4F0053

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)

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