Seven Flowers of Autumn

First published in Modern Haiku 51:3, Autumn 2020, page 117. This sequence also appeared in This Morning's Tides: Commencement Bay Haiku 10-Year Anniversary Anthology (Tacoma, Washington: Commencement Bay Haiku, 2022), page 82. Originally written in September 2015 and April 2017.

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Nanahana no sekku

scent of bush clover—

hagi the toddler’s toe prints

drying first

尾花 rising moon—

susuki the sway of silver grass

over the lost softball

撫子 surgery day—

nadeshiko a pot of maiden pink

on the car seat

女郎花 Japanese alps—

ominaeshi patrinia in clumps

of sunshine


kuzu on the woodland path

kudzu vines

藤袴 the crushed leaves

fujibakama smell of lavender—

boneset oil

桔梗 with pudgy fingers

kikyo / asagao my daughter twirls

a morning glory

Flowers blossoming in autumn fields

When I count them on my fingers

then they number seven

—Yamanoue-no-Okura, Man’yōshū Imperial Anthology


Toshiyori Viewing Bush Clover and the Autumn Moon at the Noji Tama River in Omi Province, with a poem by Toshiyori, from the series “The Six Tama Rivers in the Provinces