Sep. 27. Fine autumn weather. Rakushisha (The House of Fallen Persimmons), Saga, Kyoto. 10 poets assemble. Tito has already taken guests from America, Charlie Trumbull, Cynthia Henderson and Lidia Rozmus to Saigyo’s Well and Kyorai’s Grave. The meeting itself begins with readings of Kyorai’s Record of the House of Fallen Persimmons and Days 3 & 17 of Basho’s Saga Diary, which the poet had written in 1691 while staying at this cottage. Hisashi reads the Japanese originals and Tito, the new English translations they have prepared. During the tea break, Lidia decorates the back room with display panels of American Haiga (many of them, her own beautiful work). Charlie then presents to the group on the subject of Japanese Influence on English-language Haiku. Fascinating stuff. After an exchange of ideas, Lidia follows with her own Approach to Haiga, and we enjoy looking at the mini-exhibition of examples she has brought along. There follows a stroll in the autumnal garden (purple berries, orange persimmon leaves) and on through the nearby bamboo groves to the Oi River, where a local friend of Tito offers the poets a covered wooden punt with a robed man at the prow. In jovial spirits, we are poled upstream a little way, then slide back down the river in the warm dusk … Our thanks again to our guests for having visited and given us so much on this happy day.
haiku gathering the scent of fresh-turned earth
………….. The twilight hour —
………….. the boatman’s long white sleeves
………….. billow out