Archive for May, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

Posted in Haiku on May 29, 2008 by Ellis


Juniper, fragrant

in the jaws of my shears

by my grandmother’s grave.


ほととぎす:little cuckoo

Posted in Haiku, Summer on May 29, 2008 by Nico

I located the destination on a map. To reach it, I’ll have to change trains four times.


tempting me to go

to an unfamiliar town –

midnight cuckoo


Posted in Haiku, Spring, Workshopping on May 28, 2008 by Gerald


high speed train…

in the flooded ricefields

a patchwork of the evening sky


Stones of Mars

Posted in Senryu on May 27, 2008 by Tito

Gallery Image


The stones of polar Mars –

How they clatter at downloading

Into our desktop world!

(in commemoration of the landing of Phoenix, 26.5.08)


* click on the gallery photo link above, and you’ll be shown the latest NASA Martian scapes …

drawing a palm tree

Posted in Haiku, Winter on May 26, 2008 by Gilad


drawing a palm tree –


landing on a branch


May: border of the seasons

Posted in Haipho, Spring, Summer on May 25, 2008 by Hisashi Miyazaki

The dogtooth violet (カタクリ), actually a type of lily, is well-known both for its pretty flower and for its root, once a source of high-quality starch called katakuriko. Today, the powder available commercially bearing this name is a refined one made from potato.

after lunch

men napping on the ridge trail –

cuckoo laughs

The Three Peaks of Mt. Hiruzen (1202 m) (蒜山三座) are dormant/extinct volcanoes located on the Okayama – Tottori prefectural border in Western Honshu.

梓川 The River Azusa

Posted in Haiku, Spring on May 21, 2008 by Nico

May 7
Kamikochi was refreshing: the River Azusa, running with thaw water; and the breeze, coming from over the river, was sweet and pleasant.

leisurely on mountain,
rapidly in river –
spring passing, anyway

Woodland birdsong

Posted in Cirku, Haipho, Spring with tags , on May 21, 2008 by Tito

(Kankakei-Hoshigajo forest, Shodoshima, 6.5.08)

click on the photo to read the cirku more easily


Posted in Haiku, Spring, Workshopping on May 19, 2008 by Gerald


sunday morning…

tilling the ricefield

for a crow


On Olive Island

Posted in Haibun, Spring on May 14, 2008 by Mayumi Kawaharada

Mark and I were in Shodoshima for a few days just before Stephen went. The hotel we stayed in stands very close to a number of soy-sauce factories. We rented bicycles at the hotel and pedaled off to the harbor. The next day we set off again, visiting three soy-sauce factories, a Dutch pancake café, a sake brewery, and a small factory where thin somen noodles are made by hand. It was a lovely sunny day.

Here and there, you will find tiny, artisanal somen shops in Shodoshima. One such shop, called “Nakabu-an,” allowed us to try our hand at making somen as we toured the facility.

Airing somen

In the spring breeze –

Window-blind shadows

Having made a batch of somen, we bought a few of the house products, including “Olive somen” (pale green noodles flavored with Shodoshima olive paste).

Over toward the port at Sakade, we saw two large hotels, both of them totally abandoned, open to the weather. One was named “Shodoshima Royal Hotel” and obviously had once featured a fine Japanese garden, private beach, and a harbor-side swimming pool. To our amazement, doors and windows alike were wide open. Anyone might step inside.

The hotel was a tumbledown affair, partly looted, but a fancy painting remained on the lobby wall, looking down on sofas and armchairs — everything in place, just as the management had left it, maybe six months ago, maybe a year. (The policeman who pulled up to check us out couldn’t say how long.) At the entrance to the hotel, we found five packages of somen with a curious label: “Arigato.” Someone had left them on the stoop, with no indication why. Who or what was being thanked?

A curtain sways

In a forsaken hotel –

Pink azaleas

A soft breeze blew through the greenery, and we imagined the glory of times past. A favorite haiku of Basho’s came to my mind:

The summer grasses –

Of brave soldiers’ dreams

The aftermath

(夏草や 兵どもが 夢の跡)

A bus from the hotel took us up Kankakei Mountain the morning after we arrived on the island. The mountains there are carpeted in variegated green — ranks of trees, staggered in their distance, slope after slope. We reached the mountaintop quickly enough, and it was not yet crowded. Below lay the sea, at the end of a long swath of new-leafed trees veiled in morning mist.

Surveying the sea

From the mountaintop –

Green gradations


Posted in Haiku, Spring on May 14, 2008 by Gerald


a cold spring morningー

the crows


花筏 (はないかだ)Helwingia

Posted in Haibun, Spring on May 11, 2008 by Nico

The tiny flowers of this plant bloom from the central part of the leaf surface. It looks as if the flowers are carried on a green raft, so it is called (花 hana = flower) + (筏 ikada = raft) or helwingia. I had only known it from the pages of an illustrated book; but one day recently, I was strolling in a park near my house and chanced upon this flower. In this season, a lot of colorful flowers bloom in profusion, so who even notices the helwingia ? But one small insect approaches it …

a poor talker, though

blessed with a few good friends –

the secret helwingia