On September 14 & 28 吟行 ginko were held in the beautiful West Kyoto garden of 大河内山荘 Okouchi Mountain Villa. Paradoxically, the 14th was cooler than the 28th, but both days stayed fine and at least half a dozen Hailstone poets came along.
In the morning they had kindly helped the nature conservation NPO, People Together for Mt. Ogura, with their brushwood fence repairs in the bamboo groves on the hill’s lower slopes – right outside the Villa’s front gate. Its traditional Japanese-style garden was laid out in the Shōwa era by the film star, Ōkouchi Denjiro. Thank you to all the volunteers who came, even if perhaps not everyone managed to write poems afterwards.
Putting up a ladder
to an autumn cloud —
clasping it ………. (Tomiko Nakayama)
on the bamboo cut down:
“I love you” ………. (Mayumi Kawaharada)
our bamboo forest work —
cool autumn breeze ………. (Akito Mori)
The conversation lulls —
and a lizard
come out to talk ………. (Tito)
for a samurai actor:
contemplating persimmons ……… (Sydney Solis)
at the bamboo gate —
weather-beaten Buddha ………. (Ayako Kurokawa)
A big blue heart
cut out from the mackerel sky …
birds singing ………. (Mayumi Kawaharada)
One red maple leaf
in the chōzubachi* —
Mt. Ogura ………. (Sydney Solis)
From the moon-viewing platform:
over northern Ōmi*
a band of cloud, lit-up ………. (Tito)
scribble 落書き – graffiti incised into the skin of a bamboo that had been growing near the path.
chōzubachi 手水鉢 – hand-washing basin, usually made of stone; this haiku may also be taken to allude to waka no. 26 小倉山峰のもみぢ葉 in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshū collection compiled in the early C13th by Fujiwara Teika in his villa at Mt. Ogura.
Ōmi 近江 – old name of Shiga prefecture, including all of Lake Biwa, at its closest 30 miles away; Bashō’s grave is located there.