Archive for Ken Jones

At the Kakimori Library

Posted in Event report, Haibun, Haiku with tags , , on February 26, 2016 by Tito

click on any pictures to enlarge

On 11 Feb., 2016, Stephen Henry Gill (aka Tito) gave a talk in Japanese at the Kakimori Library (in Itami, Hyogo) entitled  はいくとはいぶん (Haiku & Haibun, deliberately left in hiragana). There was an audience of 80 people, including many Hailstone poets. 「はいくとはいぶん」② IMG_8554-In order to set the context, he first briefly related the story of haiku’s transmission to the West – from Hendrik Doeff around 1800, through Noguchi, Couchard, Flint and Pound in the early 1900s, right up to the haiku society-based, website-based scene of today. The audience had a sheet of haiku examples in two languages to savour. Along the way, Gill talked about certain haibun (haiku-style prose) introducers and pioneers, including Yuasa, Ueda, Cain and Spiess. The work of poets like Ross, Kacian, Higginson, Cobb and Jones was also alluded to, and two English haibun excerpts (in both languages) were also read.

lt. Tsubo’uchi, rt. Gill

There was a talk session afterwards lead by Gill’s fellow Genjuan Haibun Contest judge, Nenten Tsubo’uchi, which attempted to ascertain how truly ‘haiku-style’ the examples of Western haibun provided on the handout really were.  The audience seemed to have been genuinely moved by the way the narrative line and haiku poems were used as mutual counterpoint in the late Ken Jones’ piece, The Spirit Level.

The Kakimori Library holds one of Japan’s gyougamanroku-foremost collections of haiku documents and paintings, including many works by Basho, Onitsura, Buson, Issa, etc.  The current exhibition included the famous sketchbook-diary from Shiki’s last days, Gyouga Manroku.

After viewing the beautiful works in the galleries, some Hailstones called in at the nearest sakagura (sake warehouse) for a drink and meal.

lt. H. Miyazaki, rt. E. Mori

“Fire & Water” ginko-no-renga

Posted in Ginko-no-renga, Summer with tags , on August 22, 2015 by Tito

dedicated to the memory of Ken Jones (1930 – 2.8.2015)

As its last event of the summer, Hailstone Haiku Circle held a ginko-no-rengakai (‘stroll and scroll event’) at Arashiyama on Daimonji Night, 16.8.15. Sixteen attended. On this, the last day of the O-bon season, multiple bonfires are lit on the hills around Kyoto as a way of seeing off the spirits of the dead who are thought to have been invisible guests in the homes of relatives these past few days. The first fire to be lit, and the largest, is shaped like the Chinese character for ‘big’ and dominates the eastern side of town; the last, overlooking Kyoto’s western side, is shaped like the ‘torii’ or sacred gateway leading to the Fire God’s shrine atop Mt. Atago, which is ‘the mountain’ alluded to in the hokku (first verse) here. The ageku (final verse) thus links back to the hokku. We climbed the steps up to Hōrinji Temple to get a better view of the bonfires. Rain is mentioned once, and once only, as it turned out to be but a heavy shower.

Arashiyama renga Micah 1a

Ken Jones gave a reading to Hailstone 12 years ago in Osaka and news of his passing had just reached us. On the night he was in the sabaki’s mind. This linked verse is what we managed to get down. Each verse has become a picture in a kaleidoscopic narrative poem.

 

….. Thunderhead looms
….. behind the mountain —
….. the same silhouette

(Tito) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Over the river, dusk
….. ….. with dragonflies

(Peter) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Where three rocks jut
….. from the green water
….. no ripples to be seen

(Masako) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. People crowd the bridge
….. ….. egrets cooling down

(Eiko) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Greater China
….. takes over the street —
….. the flash of credit cards

(Peter) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Only special guests admitted
….. ….. to the viewing platform

(Tito) ….. ….. ….. …..  

 

….. Sound of geta
….. on stone steps –
….. yukata beauty

(Tomoko) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. In spite of sweet repellent
….. ….. one mosquito drinks

(Takeshi) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Cooler air —
….. cicada chorus
….. at summer’s end

(Mika) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Treading on occasional
….. ….. yellowed cherry leaves

(Tito) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. The rain begins
….. before the lighting of bonfires —
….. etching lines

(Peter/Micah) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Light captured on the water’s surface
….. ….. tears

(Hideyuki) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

Micah Gampel_8852 c-

….. A misty blaze starts up
….. on the distant hill —
….. Ken, now rest in peace

 (Tito) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Reflection of lanterns —
….. ….. broken by a passing boat

(Kazue) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. Seeing off the souls
….. a soft wind blows —
….. still alive!

(Hiroko) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

 

….. ….. Gentle glow of the Torii
….. ….. to dim city lights

(Masako) ….. ….. ….. ….. 

[Participants: Stephen Gill (Tito, sabaki, rt. below), Peter MacIntosh (shuhitsu, lt. below), Masako Fujie, Eiko Mori, Tomoko Uemura, Takeshi Saito, Mika Nakamura, Micah Gampel, Hideyuki Jitsumasa, Kazue Gill, Hiroko Nakakubo, J.P. Thomas (Hakama), Aya Hotta, Vera Ishiyama, Yushi Yanohara, Manoha. Photos: Micah Gampel.]Arashiyama renga Micah 0a