Mount Tsubakuro Autumn Haike

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Hailstone Haiku Circle’s annual Autumn Haike (haiku-writing hike) was this year held in northern Nagano Prefecture, 13-16 September. Eleven people took part. Mt. Tsubakuro (2,763m) is a long but very rewarding climb. The adventure, however, was not without challenge, even a little pain. Let’s allow the haiku we wrote to tell the story of it.

……… stuck in holiday traffic:
……… our gaze alone
……… visits the distant hills
……………
(Richard)

Over yellow fields
And marigold flowers
Mountains on jagged mountains
…… (Lisa)

……… In rice-fields of Azumino
……… He loses the way, apologizes —
……… No one minds
……………
(Tito)

Hemlocks in mist —
the tapping of the trekking poles
up the steep footpath
(Branko)

……… fresh spring water
……… icy in our flasks:
……… I sprint up the slope
……………
(Richard)

to a slow climber
red signals of the foggy trail –
crimson rowan-berries
(Hisashi)

……… Let me make a painting …
……… Of autumn leaves
……… Reaching through
……… The top of a cloud
……………
(Tito)

山頂はもうすぐだよと薄雪草
Hearing
“Just a short way to the summit!”
Seeing
Flowers of edelweiss
(Miki)

……… 目をみはる真白き空にブロッケン
……… Staring through
……… the white sky to …
……… a brocken-spectre me!
……………
(Sachiko)

わが影が光輪を背負い雲海に
my image carrying
a halo on my back …
over the sea of clouds
(Sei’ichi)

……… 夕焼けを背に黒々と槍穂高
……… sunset behind
……… the jet-black, crenellated skyline
……… of the Yari-Hotaka range
……………
(Sei’ichi)

hurrying to dinner
along the ridge trail:
a star falls
(Hisashi)

……… 山小屋に流るる星の糸あまた
……… Again and again
……… The threads of shooting stars –
……… Over the mountain lodge
…………… (Miki)

A waft of sweetness —
A man in a forest
Deodorizes himself
(Tito)

……… 岩水の小さきささやき苔の花
……… Quiet whisper
……… Of mountain water …
……… Flowers of moss
…………… (Miki)

from the open-air bath
watching the ridge we descended:
pale morning moon
(Hisashi)

……… Gently rowing
……… above pebbles and river grass –
……… Kurosawa’s dream
…………… (Branko)

A clear autumn day
at Zenkoji Temple…
I stroke an arhat’s knee
(Senji)

For a haibun by Hisashi, Eight-faced Great King, about this mountain but written a few years before, please go to the “Longer Haibun” page (via link at top right).

3 Responses to “Mount Tsubakuro Autumn Haike”

  1. Hisashi Miyazaki Says:

    The small animal is a kind of stoat, called ‘okojo’ (Mustela erminea). It is said to be the mountain fairy bringing happiness to those who see it. Happy is the cameraman!

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the mountain from the Mount Tsubakuro Autumn Haike. A few interesting phrases in these poems: [ Hemlocks in mist ] ; [ A waft of sweetness ] ; [ Quiet whisper ] ; [ I stroke an arhat’s knee ]. I also like the connotations in the “hurrying to dinner” poem by Hisashi.

    Did the haiku circle stop at the foot bath mentioned in Hisashi’s Eight-Faced Great King haibun?

    • Richard Donovan Says:

      No, we didn’t, but we made very good use of the excellent rotemburo at Ariakeso, our minshuku at the foot of the mountain.

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