The Hilltop Castle

      by Michael Dylan Welch and Ikuyo Yoshimura


First prize winner in the 2003 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. First published in Mariposa #10, Spring–Summer 2004, page 24. Written in twenty minutes (one of the fastest rengay I’ve ever written—after all, the train was about to arrive) on 19 October 2002 at the train station in Gifu, Japan, after a rainy day of visiting Gifu tourist sights, including taking a cable car up Mount Kinka to visit Gifu Castle. One of the great pleasures of rengay is how it can commemorate special events or meetings like this, or deepen one's memories of time spent together with a friend.



autumn rain—

the blurred view

from the hilltop castle                                                    Michael


        umbrellas sold out

        a shower of cherry blossoms                              Ikuyo


distant siren . . .

an unexpected drizzle

mists my sunglasses                                                       Michael



a dog’s black coat

steaming                                                                             Ikuyo


        cloudburst ends

        the little girl’s tantrum                                           Michael



over the meadow

where we used to picnic                                               Ikuyo