Shiki Haikusphere

The following poems were all first published in Shiki Haikusphere (Matsuyama, Japan: Prinart / Okada Printing Co., 2007, page 38 to 41), an anthology celebrating the first ten years of the Shiki list (see its old website), an innovative and influential online haiku discussion list that debuted in July of 1994. I was an active participant on this list, and was one of ten poets invited to contribute to the anthology. I’m grateful to Kimiyo Tanaka for her translations. The poem “nude beach,” although previously unpublished, had received an honourable mention in the 2000 Haiku Poets of Northern California senryu contest. See also commentary by William J. Higginson on the first poem (which originally appeared with Arabic numerals instead of 十四五 for the Japanese).

 

 

disinfectant jar—                                                             殺菌壺

there must be 14 or 15                                                   床屋の櫛

barber’s combs                                                                 十四五本もありぬべし

 

 

the waiter interrupts                                                      ウエイターが遮る

our argument on abortion                                            中絶についての口論

a choice of teas                                                                 お茶は何に

 

 

moving day—                                                                    引っ越しの日

emptiness                                                                          子供部屋の

of the child’s room                                                           空虚さ

 

 

nude beach—                                                                   ヌードビーチ

the crowd around                                                            死せる鯨を

the dead whale                                                                 囲む群衆

 

 

clouding sky                                                                       曇りゆく空

my finger                                                                            熊の足跡に

on the bear track                                                              触れる指

 

 

falling leaves—                                                                 散りゆく葉

an oar drawn                                                                      オール受けから

out of an oarlock                                                              はずされたオール

 

 

morning stillness . . .                                                        朝の静寂. . .

first snow                                                                              初雪

on the tree-bound kite                                                    木に引っかかった凧に

 

 

ten below zero—                                                               零下10度

the thump of the tires                                                     タイヤの鈍い音

as we start off to church                                                  教会へ出かけるとき

 

 

broken tennis racquet—                                                破れたテニスラケット

my aging father says                                                        年老いた父は言う

he won’t replace it                                                           買い換えないと

 

 

sorting dusty coins . . .                                                     破れたテニスラケット

I save the ones                                                                    年老いた父は言う

from my birth year                                                            買い換えないと