Haiku from The Tokyo 2020 Olympics

We had 兼題 (suggested topic) at both of the Hailstone English Haiku seminars in August: ‘Olympic sports’. As they watched on their TV sets, poets in both Kyoto and Osaka composed haiku and haiqua on athletics, swimming, cycling, skateboard, gymnastics, surfing, karate, table tennis, baseball, sports climbing, and so forth. To celebrate the Games’ conclusion, here’s a small selection of them after slight 添削 (tweaking).

August sun —
beckoning deities to her chest
her hop step  j  u  m  p! (KY)

Tattooed eagle
on the Olympian’s arm
cleaves the water —
the final length (YA)

peeking over
the ping-pong table
a tiny girl’s happy face —
training for the Olympics (TY)

Neptune’s billow
brings the surfer to …
glory on the beach (HS)

a climber, hung
upside down
poised for the next move …
sweat beads on her cheeks (AK)

To watch the bobbing heads
of BMX cyclists …
illegal crowd
on a distant bridge (T)

4 responses to “Haiku from The Tokyo 2020 Olympics

    • Thank you for your comment, Margaret. Yes, these poems, except perhaps for the last one, are indeed a tribute to the athletes, who gave us their best. Some fun new sports were included in Tokyo, too.

  1. Climbing captured my interest in the Olympics. I noticed a fractal-like recursion in that haiku: the climber is hanging from the wall, while the beads of sweat are like tinier climbers hanging onto her cheeks. I wonder if there were dust specks hanging onto the sweat beads….

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