Two Summer Haiku

Here are two different traditional haiku using one of the Japanese kigo (seasonal words, which all traditional haiku should contain in the first line) – screen door or amido. A different feeling between the two haiku.

 

screen door has small hole –
mosquitoes invade hot night,
mean biters, no sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

outside of screen door
images blur to shadows –
cool and dim inside.

Shining Wind

 

I began working on this poem last spring but had it in a “work on this later” file. Kathleen, our guest at dVerse Poets Pub came up with the wonderful prompt of March Winds. I had submitted early but my mind kept coming back to this and so, I pulled out a brush and soap and scrubbed it up some. Thank you Kathleen for this beautiful prompt and getting me going on this poem!  I love the Japanese words for Spring Wind (there are several) but to me this speaks so much of birth, renewal, joy…Kaze hikaru – shining wind. It is almost a holy breath in the way it is said and the naming of such a wind.

Flowering Cherry and Maples with Poem Slips, By Tosa Mitsuoki (approx. 1617-1691)

Flowering Cherry and Maples with Poem Slips, By Tosa Mitsuoki (approx. 1617-1691)

Shining Wind/Kaze Hikaru
Gone the bitter winter winds,
Gone the birds huddled in my flowering quince
Seeking shelter from cruel winter wind.
They have taken wing to the skies
In the shining winds of spring:
Kaze hikaru.

Gone the thieving winds,
Gone the hostile winds
Replaced by friendly winds
That beckon us to run and chase robins
These shining winds of spring:
Kaze hikaru.

Gone the punishing winds
Gone the freezing winds
Shivering bare branches
Now blooming with blossoms fetched
By the shining winds of spring:
Kaze hikaru.

Gone the forbidding winds
Gone the silencing winds
That take the words from our mouths
We speak and sing and whistle
In tune with the shining winds of spring:
Kaze hikaru

 

Two Spring Haiku – 春 俳句

Katsushika Hokusai- Plum Blossom and the Moon from the book Mount Fuji in Spring

Katsushika Hokusai- Plum Blossom and the Moon from the book Mount Fuji in Spring

I.
Night haze softens bare
trees – plum blossoms secretly
begin to unfold.

II.
First full moon of spring
Frogs sing loudly from the creek –
Bare trees listening.

Kawanabe Kyosai - 1879

Kawanabe Kyosai – 1879

 

 

 

Twofer Tuesday – Winter Haiku

RGB stock photo

RGB stock photo

鷹 Taka (hawk)
Taka glides over
winter field no mice in sight –
hungry he flies on

kaeri-bana (out of season blossom)
in the falling snow
quince blossoms open to
greet blossoms of snow

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Winter Solstice: 冬至 touji

copyright kanzen sakura Winter Solstice

copyright kanzen sakura
Winter Solstice

Through time, there has been a fascination with light and fear of darkness. Different cultures celebrate the changing of the seasons in different ways. Solstice is one of those major event changing times – the shortest day, the longest night. I like the Japanese perspective of this dark/light. To them, it is the beginning and celebration of the diminished power of darkness and the strengthened power of light. Nights begin to get shorter. There is more light in the world. The world is moving from the time of cold towards the season of flowers. Winter may be being felt and snow may fall, but now we can hope for the spring because the darkest night has passed.

The positivity of this thought and meditation reminds of how at the darkest time, the Light of the World was born. Into our darkness came the Light that moves us from evil to good, from sorry to joy, from earth to heaven. “The darkest hour is just before the dawn”.

One of the Japanese customs I enjoy on solstice (Candle Night, touji) is taking a bath in a fruit: Yuzu. I can’t find it over here in the states so I use a few cut tangerines and grapefruit…that is how the fruit smells and tastes. it is used to cleanse your body and while you are bathing, it cleanse your mind and soul by the aroma you breathe in. Public baths will offer Yuzu baths. People will also gather to their hot spring baths, private baths, etc. to bathe in water with Yuzu. It is also said, bathing in this fruit will keep you from getting a cold! I don’t know if that is true, but it doesn’t hurt and a long, meditative, fragrant, steamy bath never hurts!

Winter solstice is a time of meditation and prayer for me. A lot of folks have parties, bonfires, celebrate the Pagan Yule; good for them! Driving away darkness with joy is a fine idea to me. However you celebrate (or not) the Winter Solstice or Christmas, remember: We are moving from darkness to light. Let thoughts and prayers of hope, joy, peace, light, good, compassion – positive things fill you and let them loose into the world to spread it to others. You be the change. Let peace begin with you.  Blessings to you and those you hold dear in the coming season of light.

Yuzu Free Wikipedia Image

Yuzu Free Wikipedia Image

 

Fish scale clouds: iwashigumo 鰯雲 haiku

Iwashigumo
swim in autumn sky – birth day
almost at an end

copyright kanzen sakura

copyright kanzen sakura

Shuushi, haiku, and other stuff

This started because I was asked if I could post kanji for the Romanji words I use sometimes for a word in the Japanese language.  And that was because of the work “shuushi”.

Okay, I’ve been studying Japanese language for about 20 years and often get thrown back on my butt. I am not a scholar and I don’t want to offend anyone or anything. this isn’t a lecture or learned’ treatis –  just an observation by a Westerner and a Southerner to boot.  Obvious:  The Japanese language isn’t just about words: it’s the culture in toto and over a vast amount of time.  Same word, different symbols, different meanings, different points in time or activity.

I was asked for the Kanji for a poem I wrote: Shuushi – Autumn contemplation. Well, there’s like 12 or 13 meanings for the word and how it is used. It runs the gamut from Master’s Program to a religious tenet. Tucked in there are things about accounting (income and expenditures), doing something from beginning to end – consistently, to the meaning I used for shuushi: autumn contemplation, melancholy thoughts about autumn.

And then you have Kanji, Kiragana, and Katakana: three different ways of writing the symbols for a word. Oldest way to most contemporary.  Many times, because of all this, I just use the Romanji form and dang, it is still confusing!!!!

I’ve been working on a post about rain for about a year. Oh yes, simple, hey? NONONONONO. The Japanese have about 50 words for rain depending on type, season, when in the season they occur. and that brings us to true Haiku – not just a short poem with 17 symbols many people write and call “haiku”.  The “shuushi” I used is a kigo – a Japanese season word. And while this has 17 syllables:

“Potato salad
Fried chicken and string beans –
A Sunday dinner”

it is merely a short something or other with 17 symbols. There is no season word, no cutting word to delineate between two different scenes.  It is not haiku.

So at last Sarah, here ya go:

autumn contemplation

autumn contemplation

Master's Program

Master’s Program

income and expenditure

income and expenditure

You all are of course encouraged to question or comment.  But I will not get into arguments or long debates about this.  I am not a scholar as previously stated, just a plain ol’ Southern girl doing the best she can with concepts and culture way over her little 4’10” head.  Maybe in the next 10 years, I might just complete that post about “rain”.

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