A friend to stone

.. Castle of

.. A friend to stone:

.. Cottonseeds of willow

.. In the air

(Yoshi Okumura)

.. After Miyajima (2001), Matsuyama (2005), and Okayama (2009), Hailstone held its fourth Inland Sea region English haiku ginko event – in Takamatsu on May 1st. Eight people attended. A bowl of Sanuki noodles and a blast of sea air, … and we entered Isamu Noguchi’s appointments-only sculpture garden on a hillside near Mure.

. Sculptor’s workshop …………………………….. It clipped the eucalyptus

. Long after his death ………………………………With its wing —

. Ants mill about ……………………………………… Shikoku swallow

………….. (Sean O’Connor) ………………………………………………… (Tito)

A forbidden stone

Under the willow tree

Offering a rest

……………….. (Junko O’Da)

Noguchi’s  father, Yonejiro, had the distinction of writing the first ever

haiku in English (London, 1902), and we talked of him at our next destination, once back in Takamatsu: the Kikugetsutei Teahouse in the glorious landscape garden of Ritsurin Koen.

…. Circumambulating

…. Ritsurin, my shoes

…. Dusted with yellow sand

(Noriko Kan)

.

the wind carries away

through the garden of new green

each haiku intoned

(Mayumi Shigeta)

5 Responses to “A friend to stone”

  1. Beautiful images! I adore the post so much! xoxo

  2. The trip to Shikoku must have been one of he best Hailstone has taken. I am envious. Noguchi’s garden has long been on my list of must places to see. The haiku produced are quite nice, but the title of the entry, “A Friend to Stone,” is a cause to pause. Stoning is still a form of punishment in the Middle East, according to my informant there. Not as popular as in the good olde days happily, still it occurs. But why would one want to stone a friend? Unless this title is referring to Noguchi, who loved stone and working with it was his life’s work. In this case, the title should read: “A Friend of Stone.” (I doubted from the beginning that an alternate meaning, to get stoned on some forbidden substance, or to get one’s friend stoned, was the meaning.)

    Idyllic afternoon,
    even the stones make
    poems in the warm light

    is what I imagine after viewing the photos. Must have been a wonderful experience.

  3. The title, taken from Yoshi’s opening haiku, is the same English usage as found in Mother Theresa’s book title, ‘A Friend to the Poor’. I quite like your own haiku, Richard, in the comment above: ‘stones making poems’ was part of what the event was about. You got that right. A pity you were too busy to come along with us.

  4. Richard Donovan Says:

    You’re right, Tito, the post does make me wish I’d been there…. But I was happy to eschew traffic and crowds that weekend, and my thesis thanked me….

  5. Beautiful! I especially loved “new green,” “forbidden stone,” and Tito’s poem, “It clipped…” You open with an “It” and make us wait all the way until the end of the poem to find out that “It” is a swallow. Swallows flicker around so quickly that the experience of watching them is similar to your poem: a blip (“it clipped”) crosses your vision, and it’s only a few moments later you realize it’s a swallow. Lovely.

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