Haiku on Buses 2007

On 7 November 2007, at the Moore Theater in Seattle, I read one of my haiku for the 2007 Poetry on Buses program, sponsored by 4Culture and King County Metro. My haiku was one of just fifty-five poems chosen out of about 3,000 submissions, so it was a great honour to be selected.

scent of wisteria—

she finishes translating

the birth certificate

In the spring of 2004, to process a Japanese citizenship application for our son, my wife translated his birth certificate into Japanese, and thus this poem was born. When I read that the theme of the 2007 Poetry on Buses program was “dreams,” I immediately thought of this haiku. The poem appeared in Poetry on Buses 2007: Dreams, edited by Zhang Er, Eric McHenry, and Catherine Wing, published by 4Culture. The following photographs show the event poster listing the names of all the poets, and several views of my haiku, which was made into a bus placard that circulated on Seattle buses for more than a year. It was a peculiar pleasure to have coworkers or acquaintances say that they saw my poem on their daily commute. See also “Haiku on Buses 2014.” +

—17 October 2010