Five Haiku Masters

by Michael Dylan Welch

There once was a haijin named Bashō

whose countenance needed a washo,

     so he looked for a basin

     to scrub off his face in

And when finished politely said gassho.


Counteracting the gender disaster

that male poets seemingly passed her

     dear Chiyo the nun

     not being outdone

wrote haiku that made her a master.


I once read a poet named Buson

who decried all Japan’s rife pollution,

     but his haiku devotion

     to nature promotion

provided his lifelong solution. 


There once was a poet named Issa

who happily, yearly, released a

     haiku for his foes

     who wished him such woes

they normally crushed Sandinistas.


At last came a poet named Shiki

who thought he would be a bit sneaky,

     so he revamped haiku

     causing purists to spew

and still they consider him cheeky.



Previously unpublished. Originally written in May of 2021.