Archive for May, 2013

Renku session by-products

Posted in Haiku, No/All season with tags on May 29, 2013 by Mayumi Kawaharada

Here are some of my verses that were not used in the recent renku session held at Tearoom Sen on May 3rd.

On the roof top terrace
A fresh wind
blows away my tears

Make a wish
To a twinkling river in the sky —
Sweet summer dream

In the dusk
A dog barks and chases
The shadow of a dragonfly

An orange color
Rises in the moonlight —
Ripe persimmons

Green dots shoot
Up through the snow —
A breath of life.IMG_0111

The Wooden Tub

Posted in Event report, Renga with tags on May 26, 2013 by Tito

shisan renku consisting of twelve verses that follow the progress of the seasons: 春-夏-秋-冬.
P1190709a- This linked verse, the last in our Four Seasons series, was composed on 3 May ’13 in a roof-top tearoom (川 Sen) at the Tatsumi Building near Kyoto Station on a bright and breezy spring day. As we worked, we enjoyed a sample of rare imported teas and took lunch outside on the patio roof with its views of Mts. Hiei and Atago. Ten poets took part and most had at least one of their offered verses chosen.

The wooden tub
suddenly overflowing
with violets

Stepping out
in my new sneakers

One of the cans
kicked by the youths
still rattling down the road

Swallows refashion
the rim of their nest

A barque by the shore
ready to take us to
never-never land

Drops from the paddle
form a stream of stars

No cow
in the slightly frosted meadow,
a low moon in the east

Worms eating into
the apple’s core

November wind
blows through the streets –
miniskirt assassin

Boston Marathon bombing
green card applicants’ despair

Curled up for warmth
offering winter prayers –
hungry ghosts drink in the Light

Interwoven hopes,
fabric of a linked verse.

participants (in random order): Ursula Maierl (sabaki), Tito (shuhitsu and host), Hitomi Suzuki, Peter MacIntosh, Haruka Hasaba, Toshi Ida, Kyoko Nozaki, Mayumi Kawaharada, Keiko Okumoto and Richard Steiner.

Other renku in this Four Season series can be read here:

a haiku on Monkey Bridge

Posted in Haiku, Spring on May 19, 2013 by sosui

Monkey Bridge (Saruhashi 猿橋)is an old wooden bridge believed to have been built during the Edo Period at one of the dangerous spots along the Koshu Road (甲州街道). Friday was such a fine day that I decided to make an excursion to the bridge. Here is a haiku I wrote on the occasion.
Dazzling May leaves,
Monkey Bridge spans a deep gorge
Like a long monkey tail.

…………………….. (Sosui) 


Posted in Haibun on May 17, 2013 by David Stormer Chigusa

Partner in Brazil for 10 days. Shards of Portuguese keep me company – Sozinho! Desanimado! Socorro! – their association with his tongue giving some sheen to their lament.

Until when I don’t know, an old man would sing the same song at sunrise down by the river – but I notice his absence for the first time today. Ah, sozinho.

bed at dawn
no old man’s song, even

I realize, now by myself, that this new reluctance to tidy, cook, do the laundry, means the key to what gets me up every day must have changed hands. Desanimado.

apple branches
that I cannot prune today

Cycling home, the light navy-gray evening summer sky, incised with a startling new moon.

A lone
sickle moon
sharp as the eye in love


Morning mist

Posted in Haipho, Spring, Submissions on May 7, 2013 by Tito

click on the photo/poem by John Parsons to savour the early spring English scene

portrait and mist 002 (1)

Ginko to the Hidden Christian Villages

Posted in Event report, Haiku, Spring with tags on May 2, 2013 by Hisashi Miyazaki

. Astonishing! The medieval Christians’ pictures, so bright even today.
……………… (Akito)
Christianity first arrived in Japan in the 16th Century and was accepted warmly, but soon afterwards subsequent shogunates banned the religion, mainly for political reasons. Until 1873 Christians were unsparingly oppressed. Many of the persecuted Christians (“Kirishitan”) in the present Mishima district, which today includes Takatsuki and Ibaraki cities in Osaka prefecture, hid in its northern woodlands to live with their secret faith.


April 14, 2013. On this fine Sunday, ten Hailstones riding in three cars (and one other on a scooter)
set off to explore the heritage of the “hidden Christian villages” of Sendaiji and Shimo-otowa. We started at the Ibaraki Municipal Christian Relics Depository, essentially a small local museum telling the hidden Christians’ story, and gazed at the motorway construction site up against Mt. Cruz.
. The spring wind fills
 The wood behind
. The Christian graveyard –
. A galleon’s* sails.
……………… (Tito)
. under which roof
. was the Madonna scroll* found?
. a bush warbler
. singing through the village
……………… (Keiko)
. roadside hawkbits,*
. what do you know P1190543-
. about the tombstone crosses
. peeking from the soil?
……………… (Akira)
Lunch was taken in the Sports Park restaurant at the foot of Mt. Ryuo:
. Oh why?
. in the middle of April
car wipers raised*
……………… (Kumiko)
As the village houses are scattered here and there, we decided to move on a mile or two … to Kounji Temple and the hamlet around it in Shimo-otowa. Some preferred to go by car; others, to walk the lanes between flowery fields, enjoying views of the surrounding hills.
. By the waiting room
. cabbage goes for fifty yen –
. another empty bus
……………… (Branko)
. of two stone crosses, barely a trace:
. this year too, mountain cherry blossoms*
……………… (Richard)
. talking openly after 400 years
P1190565a- . a man of the hidden hamlet –
. time tells
……………… (Eiko)
. waiting for slow walkers:
. from the village out of sight
. a blown petal
……………… (Hisashi)

In mid-afternoon, we returned to a pleasant room we had rented at the Park. There we shared haiku:
. How appropriate! On tatami floor, a cross made by four tables.
……………… (Branko) PICT0001a-

*galleon: large European square-rigged sailing ship
*Madonna scroll: マリア十五玄義図, an early C17th painting of a Madonna & Child surrounded by 15 miracle scenes

*hawkbits: カンサイタンポポ, delicate, yellow dandelions
*raised: lifted up away from the windscreen
*mountain cherry blossoms: 山桜, wild cherry spp., with white flowers and orangey leaflets