You’ll remember that I was editing some translations of Santoka’s haiku and shared a few with you all. Here’s more, plus a bonus of works by Hosai, Santoka’s contemporary, and a lovely Chinese poem I wrote long ago when my name was Liu Tsung Yuan.
Santoka’s 8 haiku:
A dragonfly atop a sedge hat; I just walk on.
On a rainy day, walking barefoot thru my hometown.
Into my iron bowl also falls a shower of hailstones.
His back soaked by the rain; still, he just walks on.
In a rain shower, I walk to a nearby mountain.
Santoka was the prime modern example of Walking Zen, following Ikkyu’s example set in the Muromachi Period, tho S. only walked for a few years, whereas I. probably walked for over 20.
At a loss what to do, I walk alone on this country road.
Thinking nothing, just tasting the water gushing from a wayside spring. (Is this zen, or what?)
When the leaves begin falling, the water will become tasty.
Hosai’s 6 haiku:
I have a loud cough, all alone in this quiet hut.
Such a bright moonlit night; in bed alone, still I can enjoy the view.
I can see a little of the sea through a small window, the only one in my hut.
Tomorrow is New Year’s Day; only Buddha and I will greet it in this lonely hut.
The pine’s branches are all hanging down; I chant the Name. (the Name of Amida Buddha, presumably.)
Winds singing thru the pines; at dawn and at sunset I toll the temple bell.
Hosai passed away almost 20 years before Santoka. Both were recognized in their lifetimes to be superior poets.
An old Chinese poem: ‘On a Snowy River’
Birds have ceased wheeling thru the mountains,
Footsteps are no longer seen on any snowy path.
An old man, strawclad, is seated in a small boat,
Engaged in fishing alone on the snowy river.
Such nice morsels to chew on. And here’s a haiku written with the name, Richard:
Beside the winter river
neither birds nor fish are seen;
nothing beside myself.
Maudlin to be sure; must be the influence of some earlier poets. But hearing the call loudly in my ears for contributions, just had to pen something out.