“Fire & Water” ginko-no-renga

Posted in Ginko-no-renga, Summer with tags , on August 22, 2015 by Tito

dedicated to the memory of Ken Jones (1930 – 2.8.2015)

As its last event of the summer, Hailstone Haiku Circle held a ginko-no-rengakai (‘stroll and scroll event’) at Arashiyama on Daimonji Night, 16.8.15. Sixteen attended. On this, the last day of the O-bon season, multiple bonfires are lit on the hills around Kyoto as a way of seeing off the spirits of the dead who are thought to have been invisible guests in the homes of relatives these past few days. The first fire to be lit, and the largest, is shaped like the Chinese character for ‘big’ and dominates the eastern side of town; the last, overlooking Kyoto’s western side, is shaped like the ‘torii’ or sacred gateway leading to the Fire God’s shrine atop Mt. Atago, which is ‘the mountain’ alluded to in the hokku (first verse) here. The ageku (final verse) thus links back to the hokku. We climbed the steps up to Hōrinji Temple to get a better view of the bonfires. Rain is mentioned once, and once only, as it turned out to be but a heavy shower.

Arashiyama renga Micah 1a

Ken Jones gave a reading to Hailstone 12 years ago in Osaka and news of his passing had just reached us. On the night he was in the sabaki’s mind. This linked verse is what we managed to get down. Each verse has become a picture in a kaleidoscopic narrative poem.

 

….. Thunderhead looms
….. behind the mountain —
….. the same silhouette

(Tito) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Over the river, dusk
….. ….. with dragonflies

(Peter) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Where three rocks jut
….. from the green water
….. no ripples to be seen

(Masako) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. People crowd the bridge
….. ….. egrets cooling down

(Eiko) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Greater China
….. takes over the street —
….. the flash of credit cards

(Peter) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Only special guests admitted
….. ….. to the viewing platform

(Tito) ….. ….. ….. …..  

 

….. Sound of geta
….. on stone steps –
….. yukata beauty

(Tomoko) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. In spite of sweet repellent
….. ….. one mosquito drinks

(Takeshi) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Cooler air —
….. cicada chorus
….. at summer’s end

(Mika) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Treading on occasional
….. ….. yellowed cherry leaves

(Tito) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. The rain begins
….. before the lighting of bonfires —
….. etching lines

(Peter/Micah) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Light captured on the water’s surface
….. ….. tears

(Hideyuki) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

Micah Gampel_8852 c-

….. A misty blaze starts up
….. on the distant hill —
….. Ken, now rest in peace

 (Tito) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Reflection of lanterns —
….. ….. broken by a passing boat

(Kazue) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Seeing off the souls
….. a soft wind blows —
….. still alive!

(Hiroko) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Gentle glow of the Torii
….. ….. to dim city lights

(Masako) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

[Participants: Stephen Gill (Tito, sabaki, rt. below), Peter MacIntosh (shuhitsu, lt. below), Masako Fujie, Eiko Mori, Tomoko Uemura, Takeshi Saito, Mika Nakamura, Micah Gampel, Hideyuki Jitsumasa, Kazue Gill, Hiroko Nakakubo, J.P. Thomas (Hakama), Aya Hotta, Vera Ishiyama, Yushi Yanohara, Manoha. Photos: Micah Gampel.]Arashiyama renga Micah 0a

Summer evening talk

Posted in Haipho, Haiqua, Summer with tags on August 15, 2015 by Tito

Beautiful potholes tg

(Gero, Gifu, 9.8.15)

Surrealism at Stillhollow Pond

Posted in Challenge!, Event report, Japanese Modern, Summer with tags on July 31, 2015 by Tito

As luck would have it, this month’s Senri Bunka Centre (Osaka) Eigo de Haiku class fell on the sensei’s birthday, July 23. It had been decided to meet a little early at the secretive jewel that is Nagatani-ike for some LIVE composition. KC4F0026As is the sensei’s wont, he first launched a single birthday  balloon, which fell back quietly to the surface of the pond, coming to rest beneath some bankside trees (click on photo: centre left).
A handout listing a sample of previous birthday balloon launches (from mountain-tops, cliffs, shores, boats, bridges, or as offerings to rocks or trees) was given to each participant. Today’s was no. 46 in the global series, which, incidentally, did not begin when Tito was 1 year old! Poets were then requested to wander around the pond and through the bamboo groves and attempt to capture the wayward object and its slightly surreal interaction with something else. As a pointer to the type of poem required, a 1937 haiku by Yamaguchi Seishi was read out (although his one is absolutely real).

夏の河赤き鉄鎖(てっさ)のはし浸(した)る  (誓子)

….. The summer river –
….. a red iron chain,
….. one end immersed

…………… (Yamaguchi Seishi, trans. JW Carpenter)

When we entered the classroom back at the Centre, some redrafting took place …  and soon we had a nice selection of slightly surreal haiku to write on the whiteboard.  KC4F0014 How much more resonant is a slightly surreal haiku than a totally surreal one! The reader is free to imagine his own story. Here are four of about a dozen haiku composed that evening. Which one do you like best? Please leave a comment to tell us!

.

….. after summer rain
….. amidst the green, left behind
….. one blue thing

…………… (Takashi)

….. the ripples here
….. from a grebe
….. and there
….. from a curious blue balloon

…………… (Hisashi)

….. commemorative balloon
….. drifting on the pond …
….. golden carp look up

…………… (Senji) 

….. blue sky
….. through breaks in the cloud –
….. a fallen blue balloon

…………… (Mizuho)

medicine buddha mantra

Posted in Haiku with tags , on July 27, 2015 by Ursula Maierl

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medicine buddha mantra

in the breeze

incense smoke swirls

Lines and limbs

Posted in Haibun, New Year, Travel on July 14, 2015 by Tito

.  “It is the line, as the custodian of the syllable, that controls the shape of a poem. Vowels expand the line; consonants contract it. … The line is the divining rod that releases the wellspring of poetry” (R. Parthasarathy). Perhaps this is also true of lineation in most English haiku?
.  I’ve just finished reading R.P.’s magnificent English translation of the 5th Century Tamil epic, the Cilappatikaram. On the first day of this year, out on the Coromandel Coast near the mouth of the Kaveri River at Poombukar, I had stumbled on a tiny local museum commemorating this gem of world literature. Thus was my interest in the epic awakened.
.  Epics could not be farther away from haiku in their length and form, and yet, strolling along the seashore afterwards amidst the holiday throng, I found a simple haiku to take away from my encounter with the mythic/erotic/heroic story of Kannaki and Kovalam I’d had that day …

Lithe black limbs flailing
As they dash into the sea …
Waves crash back.

In the dusk

Posted in Haiku, Summer with tags on June 18, 2015 by Mayumi Kawaharada

.
Yellow lights flashingP1010803

To the sound of a stream––

Fireflies

 

………………………………….. Alighting on my black shirt

……………………………………… A firefly pauses, waits––

…………………………………………. My first gold medal!

 

from the Icebox inbox – 35

Posted in Haiku, Spring, Submissions, Tanka on May 30, 2015 by Hisashi Miyazaki

zoo visit…
after the downpour
a rainbow of macaws

……. (Grace Galton)

spring morning
how i fiddle with piano keys
missing her caress

……. (Payal Aggarwal)

indulgent mother
cow licking her calf
till he shines

……. (Joyce Joslin Lorenson)

Waiting for summer
The ice and snow are melted
But tempestuous storms
Wreak havoc
And I pine alone.

……. (Jane Wieman, Madison, Wisconsin)

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