It was nighttime, two nights ago, the evening of the day Typhoon Wipha struck Tokyo. I was walking home from a (subway) station I never use but had had to because the JR (i.e., overland) lines couldn’t run.  It was no longer blowing a gale, but wind buffeted at every few paces in small powerful eddies that lay in wait wherever willed by the city’s stony cast.

It was quite a bright night with just enough room between the half-scattered surging clouds to let the gibbous moon shine through. Head down, just starting to get rained on, I reached Kuramaebashi Bridge.


Clouded moon
A still distant
outline of home



October is the driest month since May. And it is starting to get what in Japanese is called skin-cold (hadazamui, as opposed to bone-marrow-chillingly cold, or honemi ni shimiru hodo samui). The enveloping heat of summer that some think of as enervating actually works, I read recently, to increase physical activity. Conversely, lower temperatures make us less likely to jump out of bed. Besides all that is the face of a typical October: that huge languid airiness, that even if clouded is still higher than a paper kite on a lightly tugging string. No more cicadas, no more fireworks letting off, and even the noises that are – of trains, sirens, and schoolyards – seem reduced to the smallness of the details you can now make out in the clearer air.

Awoken by
curtained dawn
I yawn with October


4 Responses to “October”

  1. Very vivid language. I enjoyed these very much.

  2. Thank you, David. I love the way, near the end of the second piece, you point out that ambient sounds are somehow shrunk by the clarity and the immensity of the autumn air. This is the sort of thing we need haibun for. Reading it, I get right inside your seasonally-adjusting head. Do please send some unpub. pieces to the Genjuan Haibun Contest office in due course.

  3. Whose writing is this? It’s wonderful. I’d love to read more.

    • David Stormer. The name of the poster is given in grey just under the title. It is a little difficult to read. Choose ‘haibun’ in the categories list in the righthand margin to find more of his pieces. When the haibun pieces come up, scroll down and watch the grey author names carefully.

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